Skip to main content

Full text of "Naval expeditionary forces and power projection : into the 21st century"

See other formats




Number Two 

Volume One ,~TLjd 




v. \--X 

Marine Corps University 

Perspectives on Warfighting 

Number Two 

Volume One 











This revised and edited version is published by the Command and Staff Col- 
lege Foundation of Quantico, Va. through a grant from the General Gerald C. 
Thomas Endowment Fund. All rights reserved. No portion of this manuscript 
may be reproduced or stored in anyway except as authorized by law. Upon re- 
quest, active and reserve military units will be freely given permission to repro- 
duce this issue to assist in their training. 

Copyright 1992 by the Command and Staff College Foundation 

Printed by the Marine Corps Association 
Box 1775 • Quantico, VA • 22134 

The Emblem of the U.S. Marine Corps depicted on the front cover is used courte- 
sy of The Triton Collection, New York, N.Y. This emblem is available as a full 
color print or poster for sale at the Marine Corps Association Bookstore. 

Into the 21st Century 

Editoral Policy 
Perspectives on Warfighting 


he Marine Corps University's Perspectives on Warfighting 
is a series of occasional papers, edited by The Marine Corps Uni- 
versity, funded by the Marine Corps Command and Staff College 
Foundation, and published by the Marine Corps Association. 

Funding and publication is available to scholars whose propo- 
sals are accepted based on their scholastic and experiential back- 
grounds and fulfillment of our editoral policy requirements. We 
require: (1) a focus on warfighting (2) relevance to the combat mis- 
sion of the Marine Corps (3) a basis of combat history and (4) high 
standard of scholarly research and writing. 

The Marine Corps University's Perspectives on Warfighting will be 
studies of the art of war. History must be the basis of all study of 
war because history is the record of success and failure. It is 
through the study of that record that we may deduce our tactics, 
operational art, and strategy for the future. Yet, though the basis of 
the series Perspectives on Warfighting is always history, they are not 
papers about history. They are papers about warfare, through 
which we may learn and prepare to fight. 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 



he Marine Corps University continues its series of scholarly 
papers on warfighting with the publishing of this two-volume set 
entitled Perspectives of Warfighting, Number Two. 

These papers are written by distinguished participants of the 
1991 Conference on Naval Expeditionary Forces and Power Pro- 
jection which was conducted at the Fletcher School of Law and 
Diplomacy (Tufts University) and co-sponsored by the Marine 
Corps University and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. 

Volume One discusses the nature of conflict, emerging threats, 
and U.S. national security interests; forward deployed strategy and 
forces; and naval expeditionary forces, power projection, and combat 
missions. Volume Two continues with papers addressing naval ex- 
peditionary forces, power projection, and stability missions, and 
concludes with the 21st century and naval expeditionary forces: 
developing issues and constraining factors. 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

Into the list Century 



he observation that events in the world unfold faster than 
the ability to forge doctrinal adjustments would certainly seem to 
hold true in today's strategic environment. The edifice of the Cold 
War shuddered and then collapsed suddenly after two generations 
ofVirtually unremitting crisis and conflict. In its wake, the fixed refer- 
ence points of U.S. national security policy have shifted dramati- 
cally. With no overarching opponent against which to focus strategic 
doctrine or to justify force structure and weapons procurement 
plans, U.S. policymakers must fashion a new national security 
strategy against a backdrop of ambiguous threats and diffuse chal- 

In an effort to contribute to this reshaping of U.S. national security 
doctrine and force structure, the international security studies 
program of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts 
University has sponsored over the last three years, an annual collo- 
quium to focus on the future status of each of the major military 
services. This two-volume publication oi Perspectives on Warfighting 
is a product of the most recent conference in this series, which ad- 
dressed the roles and missions of naval expeditionary forces into 
the 21st century. The conference was co-sponsored by the Marine 
Corps University and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and 
brought together experts and leading thinkers of the Marine Corps 
and naval expeditionary forces from the military, academia, the 
business sector and the press. Selected conference papers have 
been edited and published herein because of the valuable insight 
and contribution they make to the debate on future force structure 
and strategic priorities. 

While limited space does not permit a detailed recounting of all 
conclusions reached at this conference, a brief capsule of the un- 
derlined and recurring theme of the papers warrants emphasis: the 
Marine Corps, which has always taken pride in its structuring as a 
"Force-in-Readiness," fills a valuable gap in the military continu- 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

urn between home-based U.S. reaction forces and permanently de- 
ployed forward troops. With its flexible task organization and its 
integrated combined arms structure, a Marine Air-Ground Task 
Force (MAGTF) can provide a quick response to most regional 
contingencies. While the MAGTF can be deployed by air, sea, or a 
combination thereof, the critical value of this force is its close asso- 
ciation with the U. S. Navy and its strong amphibious credentials. 

The starting point of any U.S. strategic analysis must recognize 
that this country, regardless of the configuration of power and 
threats confronting it will remain a nation bounded by oceans, 
with considerable maritime interests, both economic and military. 
As an extension of the naval arm, the Marine Corps provides criti- 
cal amphibious capability which can rapidly augment the U.S. 
presence in a region for the purposes of deterrence, compellence, 
defense, or simply "showing the flag." This amphibious capacity 
has provided, in the words of the late British historian B. H. 
Liddell-Hart, "the greatest strategic asset that a sea-based power 
possesses ... the U.S. Marine Corps is the best kind of fire extin- 
guisher, because of its flexibility, reliability, logistic simplicity, and 
relative economy." 

With the mission that it fulfills, the Marine Corps will accompany 
an important place in the array of military forces fielded by the 
United States well into the future. This two-volume publication 
provides a variety of perspectives on how the Marines can contin- 
ue to discharge its vital duties in an era of limited resources and 
projected military cutbacks. 

In organizing the conference and this publication, we gratefully 
acknowledge the support of General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Comman- 
dant, USMC; General Alfred M. Gray, former Commandant, 
USMC; General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC, Commander of Central 
Command, who agreed to provide indispensible financial support 
for this undertaking; Brigadier General Peter Pace, USMC, cur- 
rently serving as the President, Marine Corps University; and the 
Marine Corps Command and Staff College Foundation who 
agreed to publish the conference papers. 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

Table of Contents 

Volume One 


Section I. The Nature of Conflict, Emerging Threats, and 1 
U.S. National Security Interests 

-/Chapter I. Continuity and Change in Future Conflict 5 
and War 
Professor Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Ph.D. 

^Chapter II. Redefining the Spectrum of Conflict 23 

Professor Ted Greenwood, Ph.D. 

y Chapter III. DESERT STORM: Exception or Rule in the 35 
Years Ahead? 
BGen Paul Van Riper, USMC 

Section II. Forward Deployed Strategy and Forces 57 

Chapter I. Naval Expeditionary Forces and Strategic 61 
General Alfred Gray, USMC (Ret) 

/ Chapter II. Regional Security Arrangements and For- 75 
ward Deployed Forces 
LtGen Bernard Trainor, USMC (Ret) 

^Chapter III. Global Strategy and Forward Deployed 93 
Dr. Jacquelyn Davis 

Section III. Naval Expeditionary Forces, Power Projec- 109 
tion, and Combat Missions 

y Chapter I. Conventional Operations and Sea-Based 113 
LtGen Walter Boomer, USMC 

Chapter II. Special Operations and Sea-Based Forces 127 
BGen Charles Wilhelm, USMC 

Chapter III. The Impact of Advanced Weapons Prolifera- 147 
tion on Combat Missions 
Theodore Clark and Thomas Harvey 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Section I 

The Nature of Conflict, 

Emerging Threats, and U.S. 

National Security Interests 


ith the decline of longstanding foes and the burgeoning 
of new international concerns, the U.S. faces a major challenge in 
redefining its national security .strategy. The issue is manyfold, 
calling for a firm understanding of changed strategic realities, a 
definition of American interests and potential threats to them, and 
a crafting of U.S. policy and force structure to fulfill the strategic 
needs of the country. The first section of papers in this volume ex- 
amines the parameters of this new and evolving international envi- 

Dr. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr. frames the issue of continuity and 
change in international politics by first drawing comparisons be- 
tween the present era and the post-World War II years. Both peri- 
ods followed on the heels of a major U.S. victory and were punctu- 
ated with calls for massive reductions in military forces. Now as 
then the U.S. approach to security has continued to be more re- 
sponsive than proactive in that American policymakers must en- 
gage in national security planning "without a clear grasp of the 
threats against which strategies and forces will be developed and 

Yet to explain fully the change in the nature of warfare, the au- 
thor extends his analysis to the early years of this century. Based 
on this, he asserts that the end of the Cold War era will not neces- 
sarily lead to dramatic change in the types of conflict leading to 
war, but may witness a radical change in the way such wars are 
fought by the U.S. and its coalition partners. Pfaltzgraff believes 

Perspectives in Warfxghting I 

Marine Corps University 

such wars are likely to be fought with high-tech conventional 
capab ilities in which space an d information technologies play a 
vitally important role.. American technological advantage, while 
not immediately at risk, will slowly erode as developing countries 
acquire more sophisticated technologies and weaponry. 

Aside from states, security challenges will continue to involve 
non-state actors in two major categories: terrorist and insurgency 
groups and well-armed and financed groups that are essentially 
states-within-a-state (drug cartels). The potential for U.S. forces to 
be directly involved in these forms of low-intensity conflict is rela- 
tively high in the author's estimation. 

Moving beyond threats, Pfaltzgraff turns his attention to ways in 
which regional security can be enhanced through what is termed 
"peacetime engagement" actions. For military forces, the author 
asserts that peacetime engagement holds several principal impli- 
cations. First, greater emphasis will be placed on strengthening air 
and sealift capabilities to achieve greater strategic and tactical mo- 
bility. Se cond, traditional military roles will be supp lemented by 
</ the use of military forces for missions that are not necessaril y mili- 
tar yjn nature . In this era, it is imperative to win acceptance of the 
need for both preventive measures and increasingly rapid re- 
sponse in the face of technologically advanced enemy forces. 

In his article, Dr. Greenwood argues that seeking a redefinition 
of the spectrum of conflict in the changed global circumstances of 
today constitutes the wrong search. The purpose of seeking such a 
definition in the past was to provide a conceptual basis for strate- 
gic doctrine, force structure design, and weapons selection. The au- 
thor argues that, while these important aspects of national security 
policy still need a grounding in strategic realities, to seek this reali- 
ty solely in an outline of the spectrum of conflict is misguided. 

Greenwood asserts that potential U.S. involvement in a spec- 
trum of conflict must compete on a more or less equal footing with 
peacetime considerations which have little to do with conflict in 
determining the nature of strategic doctrine and the structure of 
U.S. military forces. The author divides the peacetime functions of 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

military forces into two categories: power projection and assist- 
ance projection. Power projection involves military presence, exer- 
cises, and reinforcement potential for purposes of force balancing, 
deterrence or compellence, reassurance of allies, and protection of 
U.S. interests. 

Aside from these more traditional functions, the author points 
out that military forces have been and are likely to be increasingly 
called upon tojjrovide humanitarian support through assistance 
proj^tipjL In other respects, the traditional spectrum of conflict 
still applies. Greenwood believes that within this familiar spec- 
trum, low intensity conflict will remain the most common form of 
struggle in the world. Greenwood points out that the collective use 
of force under the aegis of the United Nations or other internation- 
al bodies is a possibility for the U.S. in the future. 

General Van Riper begins his paper with an admonition to 
avoid hasty analyses of an event as complex as Operation Desert 
Storm. His theme is that war is probabilistic, not deterministic, and 
therefore, in this new era of multiple, diffused, and vague threats, it 
is necessary to advance U.S. warflghting capabilities to contend 
with a broad spectrum of ambiguous and dynamic challenges. 
Further, since this is a period of considerable political, economic, 
and technological change, a review of the basic concepts of war 
should be undertaken to identify what new perspectives about 
force and its use are worthy of continued development. 

Van Riper believes that both Desert Shield and Desert Storm 
were planned and executed by military and civilian leaders who 
were well-grounded in Clausewitzian theory. The author holds 
that the Gulf War confirmed the relevance of Clause witz to mod- 
ern warfare in that states fought for political objectives that could 
not be fully achieved with other means and derived the authority 
to execute this effort from the "remarkable trinity" of political 
leaders, military commanders, and general population. 

With this understanding of war, Van Riper states that Desert 
Storm can be viewed as both exception and rule in the years ahead. 
In the sense that military strategy was integrated with policy objec- 

Perspectives in Warflghting 

Marine Corps University 

tives in U.S. and Allied planning for the Gulf War, then this opera- 
tion should serve as the norm for the future. But achieving as clear 
a connection between policy and strategy will become more diffi- 
cult in the post-Cold War world. In the place of an overarching 
threat, a host of uncertain and more diffuse challenges will arise. 
To meet these demands, the demonstrated versatility of Navy and 
Marine forces in providing forward presence and crisis response 
will call for their enhancement in the years ahead. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter I 

Continuity and Change in 
Future Conflict and War 

Dr. Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr. 


ith the passing of the Cold War, we confront the inevita- 
ble need to rethink strategies, force structures, commitments, and 
the allocation of resources for national security. Such a require- 
ment necessarily follows the end of a period in which, as over the 
past two generations, agreed threats and interests, defined and 
prioritized, formed the conceptual basis for a broadly based con- 
sensus on which a sustained defense policy was constructed. As we 
contemplate the future, it is instructive to recall that, in the years 
following World War II, we faced a situation that bears considera- 
ble similarity to the present period. A major victory having been 
won, the view was widespread that military forces could be sharply 
reduced. That we had little understanding of the nature or scope of 
future conflict and war from the vantage point of 1945 was more 
than implicit in the rearmament effort that the United States found 
it necessary to mount after the outbreak of the Korean conflict in 
1950 and the onset of the Cold War. Only in response to the emerg- 
ing security environment of the post-World War II period and the 
threats posed to vital interests was the United States able and will- 
ing to commit major resources to defense. As it had in earlier eras, 
the United States embraced a reactive approach to defense 
planning. Whether in point of fact we know any more about the 
world of the next generation than we did about the requirements of 
security in the Cold War period from the perspective of 1945 and 
the years immediately after remains to be seen. In all likelihood, 
our approach to security will continue to be more responsive than 

Now as then we confront the need to engage in effective national 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

security planning without a clear grasp of the threats against which 
strategies and forces will be developed and deployed. Today we 
face, as in the years after World War II, the reality that lead times 
for the development, production and deployment of weapons sys- 
tems extend over a protracted time frame. Decisions to downsize 
forces taken today will shape the structures that we will have avail- 
able for contingencies later in this decade and in the early 21st cen- 
tury. What cannot be known are the actual conflicts resulting in 
armed combat that will require American expeditionary and other 
power projection capabilities. Will we find it necessary, once 
again, to go into combat, as in the Korean conflict, with a force 
structure unable without major and rapid increases to perform its 
assigned missions? Most to the point, will we have the time to 
make whatever adjustments may prove to be necessary in order to 
deploy such capabilities in conflicts where they are needed in sup- 
port of vital interests? 

To a great extent, the answers to such questions depend not only 
on the degree to which we can anticipate future conflicts and wars 
but also the extent to which an understanding of such con- 
tingencies actually results in a force planning process leading to 
the acquisition of necessary capabilities. If the experience of the 
years after World War II does not offer grounds for excessive opti- 
mism about our capacity for such analysis and resulting action, 
the questions is whether in the 1990s and beyond we will do better 
than in earlier times. 

It is tempting, in a discussion of continuity and change in future 
conflict and war, to carry our comparison of the present with the 
early years following World War II one step further. At that time 
the assumption was widespread that nuclear weapons had altered 
fundamentally the way in which future wars would be fought or, 
more precisely, the extent to which the deterrence of armed combat 
would take precedence over actual military operations. It was 
widely assumed, as reflected in our rapid military demobilization, 
that the United States would not again confront a military threat 
comparable to World War II. Yet the Korean conflict, limited in 
scope as it was, far more resembled the combat operations of 
World War II than some hypothesized future situation in which 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

the awesome power of atomic weapons would furnish the basis for 
deterrence or for actually fighting such a war. In retrospect, to have 
prepared force structures in the years just after World War II for 
contingencies like Korea or the buildup of conventional forces in 
NATO-Europe that followed in the early 1950s would have been a 
prudent move. To have advocated such a force structure in 1945, 
however, would have garnered its proponent little respect and 
much ridicule. Such was the gap between our perception and the 
emerging reality of the global security environment, whose basic 
contours and policy implications became evident only with the 
passage of time. 

To examine change in the nature of warfare it is essential to ex- 
tend our analysis to the earlier years of this century. While the bat- 
tlefield similarities between World War II and the Korean conflict 
were numerous, the reverse was clearly the case as a result of the 
revolution in strategy and technologies that so sharply differenti- 
ated the conduct of combat operations between the two World 
Wars. The development of air power, both as a strategic and close 
air support system, the immense mobility conferred by innova- 
tions in mechanized armored forces, and related changes in other 
types of capabilities, including communications, profoundly al- 
tered the way in which military forces won or lost wars, so vividly 
demonstrated in the differences between German and French opera- 
tions at the time of the fall of France in 1940. Similarly, innovations 
in naval platforms, notably dramatic advances in carrier-based air 
power, as well as the submarine, transformed the conduct of war- 
fare at sea. The failure to incorporate the results of the military- 
technological revolution of this era, as well as the strategic con- 
cepts developed between the two World Wars, into their force 
structures contributed in no small measure to France's defeat by 
the Wehrmacht. By the same token, Saddam Hussein's apparent re- 
liance on strategies and tactics most descriptive of 1914 sealed the 
defeat of his armies. 

Whether or not Operation Desert Shield/Storm represents the 
prototype for future warfare, it marks the advent of changed 
technologies and operational concepts comparable in significance 
to the transformation that took place between the two World Wars. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

Advances in information technologies, together with the increas- 
ing range, accuracy, and lethality of conventional munitions taken 
together, have quickened and compressed the tempo of modern 
warfare. Strategic and other operations that once took days, weeks, 
or months to complete can now be accomplished in hours and min- 
utes. Among the implications of Desert Storm is the ability conferred 
by the most advanced technologies to destroy strategic targets early 
in a conflict without resort to nuclear weapons. Previously, as in 
World War II, such conventional operations usually required a 
much longer period and relied on less than accurate capabilities 
and relatively slow delivery systems. In this respect, Operation De- 
sert Shield/Storm was as different from the Korean conflict as 
World War II was from World War I. 

Thus there exist in the 20th century sharply delineated eras of 
discontinuity in the conduct of warfare. The first is the period be- 
tween the two World Wars, and the second is the revolutionary 
changes in the nature of war symbolized by Operation Desert 
Shield/Storm. Consider for a moment the battlefield environment 
in which Allied expeditionary forces fought at the time of World 
War I, contrasted to operations a generation later following Opera- 
tion Overlord, the landing of Allied forces on the Normandy 
beaches in 1944, leading to the defeat of Nazi Germany less than a 
year later. Therefore, in any discussion of continuity and change in 
conflict and warfare in the late 20th century, it is essential to assess 
the impact of technological innovation on the nature of warfare, su- 
perimposed as it inevitably will be on the world political map of the 

In the years after World War II, what changed principally as a 
result of nuclear weapons, so it seems in retrospect, was the nature 
of superpower conflict rather than at the level of conventional war- 
fare. It is conceivable that, in the absence of nuclear weapons, the 
confrontations that marked the Cold War would have escalated to 
conventional armed conflict between the United States and the So- 
viet Union. Instead, those conflicts that actually resulted in wars in 
which one or both of the superpowers had vital interests took place 
either between a superpower and a non-nuclear power, or between 
non-nuclear powers themselves supported directly or indirectly by 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

one or the other superpower. The advent of nuclear weapons, 
whatever their inhibiting effects in superpower relations, had little 
effect, not clearly understood in the years immediately following 
World War II, on the actual conduct of wars. As we see so vividly 
in retrospect, nuclear weapons did little to discourage armed con- 
flict at levels of intensity beneath the nuclear threshold except, as 
in NATO or elsewhere, where there was a clearly understood 
escalatory ladder from the conventional to the nuclear that served 
to deter at both levels. Otherwise, we witnessed wars that bore great 
similarity and displayed considerable continuity, fought with then 
existing state-of-the-art weapons and with less sophisticated sys- 
tems as well. 

Prominent in the list of such conflicts was the Korean War, in 
which large conventional forces clashed on a battlefield that ex- 
tended over the entire Korean peninsula with numerous simi- 
larities to the military operations of World War II. In contrast, in 
Vietnam, we faced armed combat at varying levels of intensity 
from skirmishes engaging small units, hit-and-run tactics, and 
large-scale military operations depending on strategic opportunities 
and tactical circumstances. Common to both Korea and Vietnam 
was the presence of major capabilities for conventional warfare. In 
addition, the Vietnam War was a conflict in which strategies for 
revolutionary warfare were utilized to great effect against South 
Vietnam and the United States. Our technological advantages were 
negated by strategy and tactics employed by the opponent. Al- 
though the antecedents for the revolutionary or insurgency warfare 
of the last two generations are deeply rooted in the history of war- 
fare, the widespread utilization of such strategies and tactics, de- 
scribed by such strategist-practitioners as Mao Tse-Tung, Che 
Guevara, and General Giap, were amplified, perfected, and prac- 
ticed with unprecedented effect in the decades following World 
War II. The ability of the United States and other powers chal- 
lenged by such wars to find appropriate responses proved for the 
most part to be less than satisfactory. 

An assessment of continuity and change in future conflict and 
war necessarily depends on the extent to which the emerging securi- 
ty environment, as well as the actual capabilities in the form of 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

strategies, technologies and force structures, will differ appreciably 
from the recent past, together with the interests deemed sufficiently 
vital to call for the commitment of military power. Clearly, we are 
in the midst of a major redrawing of the global political map in an 
era of military technological revolution that will have profoundly 
important implications for how we project or maintain military 
power as part of a forward presence. This altered security land- 
scape is marked by numerous armed conflicts fought thus far, as in 
the case of the disintegration of Yugoslavia, with weapons more 
reminiscent of World War II than of the technologically advanced 
systems of Desert Storm and beyond. 

The prospect for conflicts resulting in wars as the territorial 
boundaries of emerging political units are disputed and redrawn is 
likely to increase dramatically in the years ahead. The potential for 
such confrontations abounds from Europe to the Middle East and 
South Asia to other parts of the Asian-Pacific area. We face a 
world characterized by increasing political fragmentation, itself a 
potent manifestation of conflict often leading to war. However per- 
vasive it may become in the years ahead, such conflict represents a 
logical outgrowth or an integral part of the breakup of existing po- 
litical units. It is a phenomenon that has recurred not only in this 
century but in previous eras as well. What distinguishes the con- 
temporary security setting is the existence for the first time of a glo- 
bal international system containing more than 160 state actors and 
likely to grow substantially in numbers in the years ahead. For the 
most part, the conventional and unconventional wars of the late 
20th century had their origins in the breakup of existing states and 
empires. The further fragmentation of political units would be 
unusual if it did not spawn additional conflicts leading to armed 

The disintegration of political units as a catalyst for conflict and 
war coincides with the prospect for armed confrontation between 
existing or emerging states. Here again, the experience of the past 
two generations provides ample basis for a discussion of continui- 
ty in conflict and war. Like the Second World War, the October 
1973 War included battles between large armored formations in 
the Sinai and elsewhere on Egyptian territory. Such engagements, 

10 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

for Israel, were underwritten by a massive U.S. military resupply 
effort mounted after the outbreak of armed conflict. By the same 
token Operation Desert Storm, fought with technologies developed 
for the most part for use on a NATO-European battlefield, was de- 
pendent on highly mobile, yet firepower intensive, forces that 
could be deployed in substantial numbers in support of vital inter- 

Among the major differences between Desert Storm and pre- 
vious conflicts was the fact that, for the first time in history, space 
systems were both integral to the conduct of the war and crucial to 
its outcome. For the first time space systems were the principal 
means for intra- as well as inter-theater communications. Al- 
though such technologies were never tested against a Soviet-War- 
saw Pact military force, they furnish at least in conceptual terms 
an insight into the dramatically transformed nature of warfare as it 
would have been fought in NATO-Warsaw Pact military engage- 
ments. Once again, it is useful to contrast a hypothetical war in Eu- 
rope between highly equipped NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in 
possession of the state-of-the-art high-tech weaponry of the late 
20th century with the sharply differing wars fought in Europe be- 
tween 1914-1918 and 1940-1945. 

The contemporary global political map contains numerous ex- 
amples of conflict and war (1) within existing states in the process 
of disintegration; and (2) between states or combinations thereof. 
Barring a fundamental transformation at the international level, 
such situations are likely not only to persist but even to intensify as 
the number of political units increases, especially in the former So- 
viet Union, with important implications, for example, for the polit- 
ical map of Europe and the Middle East. For example, does the 
unfolding chaos in Yugoslavia furnish in microcosm a portent of 
things to come in the former Soviet Union and perhaps in the Mid- 
dle East or South Asia? Thus, the likely prospect is for continuity 
in conflict both at the intra- and interstate level with a principal 
change lying in the frequency or numbers of such conflicts and 
how those wars are fought, depending on the rapidity with which 
technologies such as those employed in the recent Gulf War are 
more widely diffused. 

Perspectives in Warfighting ^ 

Marine Corps University 

Whatever may be the elements of continuity, the future 
inevitably bears major differences from the past. The end of the 
Cold War era marks a change of dramatic proportions, not so 
much in the types of conflict actually leading to war, as in the ways 
in which such wars may be fought by the United States and its coa- 
lition partners as vital interests are affected. Such conflicts extend 
across a spectrum that encompasses not only conventional opera- 
tions between large-scale armed forces, but also includes uncon- 
ventional warfare between smaller groups at lower intensity levels 
based on political, socio-economic, religious, or resource issues. It 
is widely acknowledged that, as the prospect for global war has di- 
minished, the likelihood of regional conflict has increased. Such 
wars, as we saw in Desert Storm, are likely increasingly to be 
fought with high-tech conventional capabilities in which, for ex- 
ample, space and information technologies play a vitally impor- 
tant role. Regional powers will not soon acquire the panoply of 
systems available to the United States in Desert Storm. Neverthe- 
less, such states are likely to gain possession of some such 
capabilities, including more accurate missiles and their associated 
warheads. Although for at least the remainder of this decade, the 
United States is likely to retain an impressive technological lead as 
manifested in the technologies utilized in Desert Shield/Storm, 
nevertheless other powers will be in the process of developing, or 
otherwise acquiring, such technologies as advanced command, 
control and communications; advanced guidance and stealth sys- 
tems, and space-based components of integrated military systems 
so dramatically demonstrated in the recent Gulf War. Such tech- 
nology diffusion will occur at an uneven pace in regions, notably 
the Middle East, in which the interest of the United States lies in 
the preservation, or restoration, of power balances or configura- 
tions and the development of desirable international structures 
that serve to prevent domination by would-be hegemonic powers, 
as in the case of Iraq. They may also develop strategies designed to 
counter and circumvent existing U.S. advantages. Thus, at the re- 
gional level we face a situation in which there will be larger num- 
bers of possessors of weapons capable of high-intensity warfare. 

Under such circumstances, the challenge to U.S. national security 
policy will be to devise strategies and expeditionary force structures 

12 Perspectives in Warfighting \ 

Into the 21st Century 

sufficiently flexible, mobile, and firepower intensive, capable of 
projection either as deterrents or for actually engaging enemy 
forces in combat. The security environment in which such forces 
will find it necessary to operate will have as its defining character- 
istics increasing numbers of powers in possession of new-genera- 
tion technologies, including nuclear and chemical, as well as other 
types of conventional warheads, together with their associated de- 
livery systems. Technologies presently the exclusive preserve of ad- 
vanced powers such as the United States will eventually become 
more widely available. 

Among the problems that will arise in the emerging security en- 
vironment will be the protection of power projection forces, both 
en route and at their staging areas, which will be magnified by the 
availability of a spectrum of capabilities encompassing missiles of 
increasing lethality, range, and accuracy, and extending, as in the 
1983 Beirut Marine Barracks attack, to terrorist groups, themselves 
in possession of increasingly sophisticated weapons previously 
confined to state actors. Thus we will need to think increasingly of 
the technological and other requirements not only for power pro- 
jection, but also power protection forces, as well as the implica- 
tions of new technologies for the organization of such forces. 

At the same time that technology is altering how wars are fought, 
we are in the midst of a rapid increase in the numbers and types of 
political actors including states as well as non-state entities. Espec- 
ially in the case of conflicts within states, non-state actors have 
been prominent participants, if not catalytic factors, posing chal- 
lenges to the authority of established governments. The unfolding 
process of disintegration of certain states, together with the rise of 
self-assertiveness on the part of previously quiescent groups in 
many parts of the world, offers numerous portents of future con- 
flicts based on combat between state and non-state actors. Such 
entities may include at least two categories of non-state actors. A 
first category includes insurgent groups seeking to seize state power 
from an incumbent government in a coup or revolutionary move- 
ment, which will remain a prominent feature of the global political 
landscape. A second category of non-state actor, a well-armed and 
financed group that is effectively a state-within-a-state typified by 

Perspectives in Warfighting & 

Marine Corps University 

the drug barons, will probably gain greater prominence as a 
ntaional security threat within and beyond their respective regions. 
Armed confrontations resulting from such situations will be waged 
with weapons of varying levels of sophistication, depending on 
their availability to one or more of the parties engaged in conflict. 
Conceivably, longer established groups will have access to systems 
of greater sophistication than newly founded non-state actors, al- 
though heavily funded entities of this kind, such as drug cartels, 
will be able to narrow and even to reverse the advantage to estab- 
lished authorities. 

Although advanced technologies will become more widely avail- 
able, they will be proliferated on an uneven basis, thus heightening 
the potential for regional instability, including situations in which 
expansionist powers gain a strategic and technological edge over 
status-quo states. Whether central governments in possession of the 
most advanced military capabilities, including nuclear and chemi- 
cal warheads and delivery systems, will forego the use, in extremis, 
of such capabilities against revisionist groups within their respec- 
tive frontiers remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is the 
fact that the conflict map already contains, in the case of the for- 
mer Soviet Union, a possessor of the most advanced military sys- 
tems whose leadership confronts the ominous specter of disinte- 
gration and civil war. Such a condition, depending on the pace 
and extent of future weapons proliferation in the context of politi- 
cal trends outlined above, will probably become a characteristic 
feature of other countries and regions as well with potentially im- 
portant consequences for the security of the United States and its 

The dynamics of weapons proliferation and conflict are such 
that present possessors of the means for the conduct of low-inten- 
sity conflict will increasingly gain access to higher-intensity 
capabilities. By the same token, newly forming groups are most 
likely to enter the conflict arena as the possessors of low-intensity 
capabilities. Conceivably, as in the past in the form of state-spon- 
sored terrorism, the possessors of higher-intensity capabilities will 
find advantage in resort to low-intensity operations of various 
kinds as part of a strategy designed to achieve their political objec- 

14 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

tives. Such a prospect, as well as the presence of increasing num- 
bers of non-state actors prepared to use force at various levels in 
support of their goals, will continue to make low-intensity conflict 
a crucially important feature of the global security landscape. 
What is certain is that political instability leading to low-intensity 
conflict, defined as political-military confrontation short of con- 
vention war, will persist in abundant measure. 

Among the issues contributing both to low-intensity conflict and 
simultaneously providing the means to acquire more sophisticated 
weaponry is international drug trafficking. Drug-inspired violence 
is likely to continue to increase in the years ahead with important 
international and domestic implications. If demand for illicit 
drugs maintains its present growth patterns in the United States 
and elsewhere, the financial resources available to international 
drug cartels will confer on such organizations a greater ability to 
acquire a variety of advanced technologies. Such capabilities, in- 
cluding technologies for countering drug enforcement efforts, will 
give unprecedented power to private armies in drug-producing 
countries, together with other forms of protection, the net effect of 
which will be to create potential low-intensity conflict challenges 
both to the armed forces of countries attempting to counter such 
operations within their borders as well as to the United States. 

The role of the U.S. military has already been defined to include 
the possible use of forces in countries that are drug producers and 
at points of transit from the source to the United States. Although 
emphasis is placed on such activities as assistance for nation- 
building, operational support for indigenous forces, and efforts in 
association with host nation forces to halt exports, it is not difficult 
to envisage a variety of scenarios for low-intensity conflict in drug- 
producing states in which U.S. forces might become directly en- 
gaged as emphasis on counternarcotics operations grows in impor- 
tance as a national security priority. In the transit phase as well, 
the role military forces both in monitoring and interdicting drugs 
is likely to gain greater saliency in the years ahead, with the pros- 
pect for low-intensity conflict engaging U.S. forces in the maritime 
environment as well as on land, for example in the Andean states 

Perspectives in Warfighting # 

Marine Corps University 

which form the point of origin for most of the cocaine that enters 
the United States. 

Even a cursory survey of the emerging security environment re- 
veals a broad spectrum of conflict in a world of greater numbers 
and types of actors. Within and between states the potential for 
conflicts leading to wars across a spectrum from low-to-high-in- 
tensity will increase dramatically. What will differ, as we assess the 
nature of continuity and change, will be the dramatic increase in 
the numbers of actors having greater access to weapons of mass 
destruction in conflict-prone regions including Europe (former So- 
viet Union) as well as the Middle East (Syria, Iran) and Northeast 
Asia (North Korea), to mention the most obvious and immediate. 
The implications of this increased proliferation have yet to be 
understood, although the prospects for instability will be enhanced 
to the extent that "rogue" states are in the vanguard of the acquisi- 
tion of such capabilities. It is conceivable that such possessors of 
high-intensity capabilities will find it possible to expand their use 
of low-intensity strategies and operations under the assumption 
that their possession of forces at the higher end of the spectrum de- 
ters appropriate responses on the part of an aggrieved power. For 
example, what effect would Libya's acquisiton of a nuclear capa- 
bility and delivery system have on the willingness of the United 
States or another power to engage in a retaliatory raid, as in 1986, 
in response to terrorist acts traced to Qadhaffi? What types of re- 
sponses, under such circumstances, would the United States need 
to contemplate in its power project capability against terrorist acts 
perpetrated by a state possessing the means for high-intensity mili- 
tary action against the United States and its allies? Such questions 
will need to be addressed as we contemplate a changing security 
setting characterized by a greater diversity of actors and capa- 
bilities for conflict operations at higher and lower levels of intensity. 

In an era of change, any discussion of the conflict environment 
leads inevitably to a consideration of the nature of U.S. interests on 
whose behalf forces will be developed and deployed. It is widely 
(and correctly) assumed that American engagement will be highly 
selective. Yet the meaning of selective in operational terms re- 
mains vague. To be sure, the concept "peacetime engagement" is 

16 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

based on the explicit assumption that the United States will define 
as carefully and fully as possible those contingencies in which mil- 
itary forces will be deployed. Peaceful engagement means that mil- 
itary power forms but one important component of a broader strat- 
egy designed to achieve national security goals in a more diverse or 
multipolar world. By the meaning of peacetime engagement, mili- 
tary forces form instruments of last resort for actual operations, al- 
though their deterrent value presumably will be taken fully into ac- 
count in defining projected requirements. Whether peacetime en- 
gagement providing for the highly selective use of military forces is 
synonymous with the less frequent utilization of such power re- 
mains to be seen. The experience of the 1989-1991 time frame, co- 
inciding with the end of the Cold War, does not offer cause for 
great optimism, with the examples of Just Cause and Operation 
Desert Shield/Storm in mind. The logical inference to be drawn 
from an assessment of a changing conflict map in which the num- 
bers of actors and conflicts leading to war are likely to increase, 
perhaps even dramatically, is that we will face the possibility of in- 
creased, rather than diminished, selective use of military forces 
even on behalf of carefully defined interests. 

Whether the United States would actually be more frequently 
called upon to employ power projection forces in situations ex- 
tending from low to higher levels of intensity depends on the defi- 
nition of interests underlying American strategy. The term 
"peacetime engagement" has gained substantial currency without 
a broadly accepted definition. Among its assumptions is the per- 
ceived need to focus less on immediate threats and instead to 
place greater emphasis on preventing the gradual erosion of secu- 
rity in a more disorderly world of widening power diffusion. Re- 
gional conflict, as in the recent example of Desert Storm, and 
transregional issues, as in the case of drug trafficking, frames the 
types of security issues for which the United States must plan mili- 
tary capabilities and other instruments of strategy. Explicit in the 
concept "peacetime engagement" is the pursuit of opportunities to 
defuse, resolve, or prevent crises and to promote regional stability. 
The approach emphasizes support for representative governments 
and market economies. Available political, economic, and military 
resources are to be utilized in coordinated fashion to underwrite 

Perspectives in Warfighting ^ 

Marine Corps University 

peacetime engagement. It is suggested that the United States will 
find it necessary to maintain a capacity for force projection and 
crisis response that will include a forward presence but at greatly 
reduced levels from the Cold War era. Peacetime engagement is 
said to require enhanced proficiency with respect to other 
capabilities, including those necessary for early warning, the ca- 
pacity to build ad hoc coalitions, and the ability to heighten the im- 
pact of military actions. Explicit in this focus of peacetime engage- 
ment is the idea that military power would be employed only with- 
in the broader context of a political-military strategy designed to 
follow military success with a longer-term political strategy based 
on national interests and goals. 

For military forces, peacetime engagement holds several princi- 
pal implications. With respect to power projection needs, empha- 
sis is placed on the strengthening of air and sealift capabilities to 
achieve greater strategic and tactical mobility. Over-the-horizon 
fire support is to be improved. Presumably, the strategies and 
technologies that provided the means for rapid and decisive mili- 
tary victory in Operation Desert Shield/Storm will be further re- 
fined for the broad range of contingencies implicit in "peacetime 
engagement." The ability of U.S. forces to operate either as part of 
a broader coalition or within a peacekeeping operation is to be im- 
proved. Traditional military roles, it is recognized, are to be sup- 
plemented by the allocation of military forces to missions that are 
not necessarily military in nature, but for which such forces have 
special capabilities. They may include well-defined and carefully 
delineated nation-building or humanitarian assistance, which are 
expected to increase in importance to the extent that the conflict 
environment continues to be dominated by regional contingencies 
and unconventional threats. Thus the role of U.S. armed forces in 
the emerging security setting based on the concept of peacetime 
engagement encompasses the training of, and operations with, co- 
alition forces; participation in military actions across a broad 
spectrum; and a host of other activities designed to support diplo- 
macy in all of its phases. 

Whether a security concept based on peacetime engagement will 
command essential public support cannot fully be known at this 

18 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

time. To what extent can it be made sufficiently explicit in its vari- 
ous ramifications so as to establish a series of defense acquisition 
priorities and to shape future defense budgets? Congressional and 
public support for defense has been more intuitive and reactive 
than conceptual or cerebral. In present circumstances, as it was in 
the Cold War era, the development of sustained consensus will de- 
pend on the extent to which vital national interests and goals can 
be identified as the basis for developing an adequate force struc- 
ture within the overall context of the peacetime engagement con- 
cept. To what extent, for example, can it be demonstrated that, in 
an era in which the Cold War has been replaced by an era requiring 
peacetime engagement, there is a resulting requirement for sub- 
stantial military forces? 

Historically, peace and military power have not been viewed in 
the United States as coincident properties. Threats that are ambig- 
uous, as suggested in the peacetime engagement strategy will be a 
characteristic feature of the security environment, have not called 
forth a major commitment of resources to defense. Nevertheless, 
with recent examples such as Operation Just Cause and Desert 
Shield/Storm in mind, perhaps a force structure adequate to the 
needs of the 1990s and beyond can be sustained. Peacetime en- 
gagement should be viewed as a concept containing periods of 
armed conflict, thus requiring the preservation of adequate military 
power both for purposes of deterrence and in the likely event of 
deterrence failure, especially at the lower levels of the conflict-in- 
tensity spectrum. However, again, it is useful to recall that 
containment, as the conceptual basis for Cold War strategy, was 
publicly enunciated in 1947. Yet it took the unfolding events leading 
to the Korean War three years later to furnish the impetus toward 
Cold War rearmament. Will comparable future contingencies be 
the necessary prerequisite to the development of the required force 
structure for the years leading into the next century based on a 
concept such as peacetime engagement or whatever U.S. strategy 
comes to be called in the years just ahead? 

It follows that, having identified those conflict issues requiring 
the utilization of military power across the board spectrum defined 
above, the United States will face the need to deploy requisite 

Perspectives in Warfighting ^ 

Marine Corps University 

forces. Here we face a host of issues with respect to the types of 
forces to be constructed and projected. For example, it has already 
been noted, the revolution in military technologies, in this case a 
derivative of the advent of missiles and their associated warheads, 
as well as space and ground-based command, control and commu- 
nications, will eventually confer the advantages of unprecedented 
accuracy as well as global range on increasing numbers of actors 
in such areas as information technologies and conventional muni- 
tions lethality. Operation Desert Storm revealed the extent to 
which technological advances have altered the meaning of strate- 
gic warfare as well as the greatly reduced time required to achieve 
the destruction of identified targets without resort to nuclear sys- 
tems. Operation Desert Storm also provided evidence of the need 
for the rapid deployment of overwhelming ground capabilities as a 
part of the coalition operation to remove Iraqi forces from Kuwait. 
It is likely that conventional systems, as a result of major advances 
in accuracy and range, will continue to confer on their possessors 
the means greatly to shorten the time required to achieve strategic 
victory. Thus we face the need to address important questions re- 
lated to the types of power projections forces extending across a 
spectrum from low- to high-intensity operations and deterrence as- 
sets. At the lower end of the spectrum, what types of expeditionary 
forces will it be necessary to develop and deploy or to pre-position 
preemptively in conflict environments for purposes of deterring 
enemy operations? How would such forces be related to the other 
components of power projection (and power protection) in order 
to assure escalation control or dominance for the United States 
and its coalition partners? For example, the ability of the United 
States, by itself or more likely in association with coalition part- 
ners, to intervene with forces interposed between friendly and ene- 
my forces, or to protect the territory of allies or friendly states as in 
the case of Saudi Arabia in the recent Gulf War, would depend vi- 
tally on expeditionary units and other components of the overall 
structure within an agreed strategic concept. 

Thus the unfolding security environment holds numerous im- 
portant implications for the United States both in designing and 
actually deploying expeditionary forces in the years ahead. If U.S. 
interests continue to be defined in global terms, even in an era of 

20 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

highly selective intervention in varying conflict intensity settings, 
we will face sharp differences in terrain and climate, as well as dif- 
fering levels of capacity on the part of host nations for necessary 
logistical and other support. The need for increasingly rapid re- 
sponse will be heightened by the presence of enemy forces them- 
selves in possession of technologies that confer unprecedented 
speed, range, accuracy, and lethality as a result of the wider availa- 
bility of ballistic and cruise missiles and other technologies. If 
technology confers unprecedented speed, information, accuracy, 
lethality and range, what types of expeditionary forces should be 
developed to take account of such advances? If such forces them- 
selves will be targetable by an enemy in possession of advanced 
technologies, what countermeasures, active or passive, must be 
taken to ensure the ability of expeditionary forces to conduct effec- 
tive combat or to act as deterrents? If the forward-based logistical 
infrastructure becomes increasingly vulnerable, what changes 
need to be reflected in the types of expeditionary forces that we de- 
ploy? In the same time frame leading into the next century, the 
United States will face continuing reductions not only in its own 
force structures, but also in overseas facilities and forward deploy- 
ments as well as other local infrastructures required for logistical 

This assessment of the nature of continuity and change in con- 
flict and war points up the urgent need, in a dynamic security envi- 
ronment, to fashion a total structure that includes expeditionary 
forces that are necessarily leaner in numbers but far more lethal in 
firepower, capable of self-contained operations at the low-intensity 
end of the spectrum and of combined operations at the national 
and coalition levels in higher intensity conflicts such as Operation 
Desert Shield/Storm. However such forces are ultimately configured, 
it will be essential to base their configuration on two essential as- 
sumptions: the persistence of a broad range of conflicts in an in- 
creasingly multipolar security environment with additional num- 
bers and categories of actors as well as an understanding of the im- 
plications of an ongoing revolution in military technologies and 
strategies whose ultimate implications may be as profoundly im- 
portant for the conduct of warfare on the threshold of the Third 
Millennium as were the changes between the two World Wars. 

Perspectives in Warfighting ~ l 

Into the 2Isl Century 

Chapter II 

Redefining the Spectrum 

of Conflict: 

Peace, Crisis, Conflict, War 

Dr. Ted Greenwood 


he assigned subject for this paper, as its title indicates, is the 
redefinition of the Spectrum of Conflict. The paper will indeed dis- 
cuss the spectrum of conflict and especially the extent to which it 
has changed as a result of recent world events. However, the paper 
begins by arguing that seeking a redefinition of the spectrum of 
conflict is, in important respects, the wrong search. 

The purpose of seeking a definition of the spectrum of conflict 
in the past was to provide a basis for strategy development, for 
force structure design, and for weapons choices. We need such a 
basis now no less than in the past. But to seek it solely or even pri- 
marily in a definition of the spectrum of conflict is to look in the 
wrong place. This has not become true just recently; it has always 
been true to some degree, as is clear from the second half of the ti- 
tle that the conference organizers gave to this paper: "Peace, Crisis, 
Conflict, War." "Peace" does not really belong within a spectrum 
of conflict. Peace is the absence of conflict, unless by conflict one 
includes political as well as armed conflict. Crisis may or may not 
involve armed conflict. 

To include these conditions on a so-called spectrum of conflict 
was to acknowledge two things. First, the so-called "spectrum of 
conflict" was always an imperfect metaphor. Second, strategy de- 
velopment, force structure design and weapons choices have de- 
pended more on the nature of anticipated conflict than on the re- 
quirements for peace or crisis. The imperfection of the metaphor 
was well known, of course, but most analysts and students of mili- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

tary affairs were quite willing to treat peace and crisis as special 
cases on the low end of the spectrum of conflict. The intellectual 
impurity was not bothersome because everyone understood ihat 
what really mattered was the rest of the spectrum. The basis for 
strategy, force structure design and weapons choices was different 
kinds of armed conflict and these — quite appropriately — drew the 
most attention. 

Today, the recognition that the United States could be involved 
in different kinds of armed conflict is still highly relevant to strate- 
gy development, force structure design, and weapons choices, but 
now the requirements of conflict must compete on a more or less 
equal footing with the requirements for what has been called 
peacetime engagement. The better question today, therefore is 
the more fundamental one: "What should be the basis for our 
strategy, our force structure, and our weapons choices?" The an- 
swer is a combination of the need to prepare for warfare at various 
levels of conflict and very important peacetime engagement func- 
tions of military forces. 


Because most readers will be quite familiar with the various lev- 
els of conflict and because the idea that peacetime engagement 
should in the future really be central for our strategy, force struc- 
ture design and weapons choices might be unfamiliar, this paper 
will dwell at some length on the peacetime considerations. The 
peacetime functions of military forces are quite numerous but, as 
shown in Table 1, can be divided into two categories. The first is 
power projection which, in the absence of conflict, includes milita- 
ry presence, exercises, and reinforcement potential. The specific 
peacetime functions that can be achieved by power projection are 
force balancing, deterrence and compellence of adversaries or po- 
tential adversaries, reassurance of allies and friends, ensuring that 
U.S. interests are taken into account, and crisis avoidance and cri- 
sis management. The second category of peacetime functions of 

24 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 



A. POWER PROJECTION (presence, exercises, and rein- 

forcement potential) 


force balancing 


deterrence and compellence of adversaries or po- 

tential adversaries 


reassurance of allies and friends 


ensuring that U.S. interests are taken into account 


crisis avoidance and crisis management 



disaster relief 


care and protection of refugees 


non-combatant evacuation 


support of other nations; training, transport, con- 




military forces might be called assistance projection. l The specific 
functions that would be included in this category include disaster 
relief, care and protection of refugees, non-combatant evacuation, 
support of other nations through training, transport, or construc- 
tion, and peacekeeping. Each of these functions will be addressed 
briefly in turn. 

There are two reasons why force balances are important. 2 First, 
the presence of an excessive force imbalance would harbor the 

^his term is borrowed from LtGen Henry Stackpole (USMC) who used it in a somewhat 
narrower sense than it is used here. See his paper in Volume II. 

2 For a more complete discussion of the significance of force balances in Europe and of the 
utility of employing the concept of force balancing as a basis for NATO force planning, see 
Ted Greenwood and Stuart Johnson, "NATO Force Planning without the Soviet Threat.'* 
Parameters (Spring, 1991), on which this and the following paragraph are based. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

seed of instability by providing the temptation, if not the motiva- 
tion, for stronger states to employ their forces to intimidate or co- 
erce others or even to initiate hostilities. Over the long term, force 
imbalances provide an unstable basis for a lasting peace. Even a 
state with a benign intent one day could have hostile intent anoth- 
er and the ability to act out that hostility might well increase the 
likelihood of the transformation. Second, the balance of forces be- 
tween states has always been an important determinant of the psy- 
chological context for interstate relations in peacetime, influencing 
not only perceptions of security but also the conduct of day-to-day 
diplomacy over issues to which military forces are not immediately 
central. This will remain true in Europe and elsewhere for the 
foreseeable future. 

For these reasons, it is important that the United States and its 
allies maintain an adequate peacetime force balance with respect 
to their adversaries and potential adversaries. By "maintaining an 
adequate force balance" is not meant necessarily matching anoth- 
er state's forces man for man or weapon for weapon. Rather, the re- 
quirement is to avoid excessive imbalances of forces. There is no 
more reason in the future than there has been in the past for the 
United States or the United States plus its allies necessarily to 
match the military forces of a potential adversary. There is also not 
just one way to maintain an adequate force balance: it can be 
achieved through routine military presence, through exercises, 
through reinforcement potential, and through a combination of 
these. In both Europe and the Western Pacific peacetime force bal- 
ancing, not reliance on unrealistic threat scenarios, should now 
become the basis for NATO and U.S. strategy, force structure de- 
sign, and weapons choices. The primary answer to the very impor- 
tant question "how can NATO do force planning in the absence of 
the Soviet threat?" is, "by ensuring an adequate balance of forces 
in Europe vis-a-vis the primary successor state to the Soviet Union, 
and vis-a-vis other potential adversaries, especially Turkey's 
southeastern neighbors. 

Maintaining a military capability for deterrence and the poten- 
tial for compellence has been an important determinant of U.S. 
strategy, force structure and weapons choices where threats actual- 

26 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

ly exist and will remain so in such circumstances. As with main- 
taining an adequate force balance, deterrence and compellence 
can be achieved through presence, exercises and reinforcement 
potential as well as, occasionally, through punitive action. 

Where real threats still exist, the United States needs, as in the 
past, to reassure its friends and allies that it will help defend them 
if need be. Reassurance must also be provided that the United 
States remains interested in particular areas and will continue to 
play a political and military role there. This is especially true for 
east Asia where Koreans and Japanese have both reasons to ques- 
tion whether the United States will remain engaged in their region 
and a strong preference that it do so. Reassurance can be achieved 
through political as well as military instruments. However, routine 
military presence and the conduct of military exercises are espec- 
ially useful. 

Ensuring that the individual interests of the United States, in 
trade, finance, and other areas, are taken into account by other 
states in the day-to-day conduct of their international relations has 
always been and remains one of the primary reasons for maintain- 
ing U.S. forces in Europe and Japan. Again, both the routine de- 
ployment of U.S. military forces and the conduct of exercises in a 
region and with the forces of another state can contribute to this 

The routine presence of military forces and the sending of rein- 
forcement in times of crisis can be useful for crisis avoidance and 
for crisis management, including conflict avoidance, when crises 
occur. Because of their mobility, independence, and intrinsic mili- 
tary capabilities, naval forces, especially carrier battle groups and 
Marine Expeditionary Units, have been and will remain particu- 
larly useful for this function. The use and sometimes provision to 
others of military intelligence can also be important instruments of 
crisis avoidance and crisis management. 

Military forces have been and are likely to be increasingly called 
upon to provide humanitarian assistance. These include disaster 
relief, the care and protection of refugees, and non-combatant 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

evacuation. U.S. forces performed all of these functions in 1991. In 
January, while awaiting the commencement of the offensive 
against Iraq, a Marine Corps unit was diverted from the Persian 
Gulf to rescue U.S. and other nationals from the deteriorating situ- 
ation in Somalia. U.S. Marines and Army Special Operations 
forces, with allied assistance, helped supply food, shelter and med- 
ical supplies and offered protection to Kurdish refugees fleeing 
from Iraqi retribution following the collapse of their insurrection 
against Saddam Hussein. In May, en route home, following the de- 
feat of Iraq, a Marine Expeditionary Unit helped Bangladesh cope 
with a devastating typhoon. 

U.S. forces have also been widely employed to provide support 
to the military forces of other nations. Military training is provided 
to many friendly countries. Transport services have been provided 
to the military forces of France, such as during its intervention in 
Chad in the mid-1980s, and to others. Construction services have 
been supplied to Saudi Arabia, Israel and others. There is no rea- 
son to think that U.S. forces will not be used for similar missions in 
the future. 

U.S. forces might also be employed for peacekeeping missions in 
the Middle East, as they have been since 1983 as part of the 
Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai, or elsewhere. 
Peacekeeping would normally be performed jointly with the forces 
of other nations. 

Of particular relevance to assistance projection missions are 
mobility forces, especially airlift assets, Marine Expeditionary 
Units, and special operations forces. The latter are specially 
trained in the language and culture of the countries whose people 
or military forces they are likely to assist. 

This is a long list of peacetime missions for which military 
forces in general and U.S. military forces in particular are likely to 
be employed in the future. Recognizing the importance of such 
missions has significant implications. First, with the decline or dis- 
appearance of actual military threats, U.S. force deployments over- 
seas and the military exercises conducted in places like Europe 

28 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

and the Western Pacific must be viewed primarily as fulfilling 
peacetime missions and be sized and structured accordingly. Sec- 
ond, the sizing of some elements of the U.S. Navy -- particularly 
the number of carrier battle groups and amphibious groups - will 
be driven more by peacetime requirements for presence and oper- 
ating tempo considerations than by wartime requirements. Third, 
special operations forces should be sized and structured commen- 
surate to their importance for many of these peacetime missions as 
well as for possible wartime missions. Fourth, the Defense Depart- 
ment needs to do a better job than it has done up to now in dis- 
cussing these peacetime missions of military forces and persuad- 
ing the Congress and the American people that they are important 
and worth paying for. The focus for the past 40 years on deterring 
and being able to fight a war with the Soviet Union has eclipsed all 
the other important peacetime functions of military forces, even 
though they have always been with us. 


Despite the new emphasis on peacetime engagement, the spec- 
trum of conflict remains highly relevant to the question, what 
should be the basis for our strategy, force structure design, and 
weapons choices. It is therefore useful to identify ways in which 
this spectrum of conflict has changed as a result of recent world 
events and ways in which it has stayed the same despite these 

The spectrum of conflict can be said to have changed in several 
significant respects. Most important, the possibility of large-scale 
nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union or a 
successor state has all but disappeared. We have not yet reached 
the point where the likelihood of nuclear war with Russia or 
Ukraine is no greater than with the United Kingdom or France. 
However, the likelihood of such a war, always small, has signifi- 
cantly declined. While previously large-scale nuclear war repre- 
sented an entire category of warfare at the high end of the spec- 
trum of conflict, now it merits little more than a footnote. 

The possibility of a global conventional war has also all but dis- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 29 

Marine Corps University 

appeared. The only realistic possibility for a conventional war on a 
global scale since World War II has been one involving the Soviet 
Union and its client states on one side and the United States and 
its allies on the other. Although theoretically still possible, with the 
new Commonwealth of Independent States or conceivably just 
Russia replacing the Warsaw Pact as the adversary, this scenario is 
no longer plausible and can be removed from the spectrum of con- 
flict that needs to be taken into account. 

In contrast, regional conflicts remain quite possible. However, 
these are likely to be about and, equally important, to be recog- 
nized to be about regional or bilateral issues, not to be elements of 
or surrogates for global competition between superpowers. This is 
partly a change in reality, but more a change in perception. The 
United States has been often mislead in the past by considering re- 
gional conflicts to be primarily about global competition between 
East and West when they in fact were mostly about regional, bilat- 
eral or domestic issues. The United States is less likely to be misled 
in this way in the future. 

Regional conflicts that do arise are more likely than in the past 
to be fought by regional actors, without direct involvement by glo- 
bal powers. The primary successor government to the Soviet 
Union is unlikely to try to exploit remote regional conflicts for its 
own purposes for the foreseeable future and the United States is 
likely to be drawn into regional conflicts because it will not be 
misled into seeing them in an East-West context. Whether the inten- 
sity and destructiveness of regional conflicts will decline as a result 
remains to be seen and will depend importantly on whether the 
major powers will refrain from selling arms in peacetime and from 
resupplying them in the heat of battle. Much attention is now be- 
ing given to this question 3 and some modest progress has been 

•^See, for example, Report to the Secretary General, General and Complete Disarmament: In- 
ternational Arms Transfer; Study on ways and means of promoting transparency in interna- 
tional transfers of conventional arms (New York: United Nations, 9 September 1991) A/46/ 
301 and U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Global Arms Trade, OTA-ISC-460 
(Washington: Government Printing Office, 1991). 

30 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

made by the agreement of the Big Five 4 , for example. How much 
restraint will actually be exercised, however, very much remains to 
be seen. 

Whether regional conflicts will see the use of chemical or nuclear 
weapons is also by no means assured, despite the renewed atten- 
tion to the question, and considerable anxiety that exists in some 
quarters. The answer depends, in the view of this observer, not so 
much on international regimes to control the diffusion of nuclear, 
chemical, biological and missile technologies, but on whether in- 
dividual countries see it as being in their interest to acquire and, if 
possessing, to use such weapons. In the long run, resolving region- 
al conflicts, or achieving mutual deterrence at the regional level, 
or, in some cases, removing certain governments or ruling elites 
from power will probably be more important in limiting prolifera- 
tion and preventing the use of mass casualty weapons than will 
technological denial by potential supplier countries. 

In other respects, the traditional spectrum of conflict still 
applies. For example, low intensity conflict 5 will remain the most 
common in the world. Included would be revolutions, civil wars, 
ethnic conflict, terrorism, and drug-related violence. Only the lat- 
ter is relatively new. The incidence of low intensity conflict is not 
likely to decline over the next few years and might even increase as 
countries and regions sort themselves out in the new post-Cold 
War environment. 

Similarly, low intensity conflict will remain more likely than 
high intensity to engage U.S. forces. If recent patterns hold, the 
United States will involve itself in low intensity conflicts primarily 
in places and ways that limit the likelihood of becoming entangled 

4 See the Guidelines for Conventional Arms Transfer, agreed to by the five permanent mem- 
bers of the Security Council, on 18 October 1991 and the Communique from their London 
meeting of 17-18 October 1991. 

5This phrase is employed here, as is usual, from the perspective of the United States. One 
must recognize, however, that a conflict that seems to be low intensity from the U.S. per- 
spective might well be high intensity from the perspective of the participating governments 
or groups. Moreover, individual soldiers rarely regard a conflict in which they are partici- 
pating as being low intensity. 

Perspectives in Warfighting & 

Marine Corps University 

in local politics. This implies the use of military strikes from afar, 
especially by air, and the conduct of ground operations only where 
U.S. forces can make a major difference quickly and then be with- 
drawn. Whether such self-imposed restraint results from wisdom 
or timidity is a matter of disagreement and it might not be permanent. 

Regional conflicts in which the United States might participate 
can range in length and intensity from short and small to what De- 
sert Storm might have been, but was not. As already mentioned, 
short and small seems the most likely. The fact that the United 
States fought Desert Storm and was prepared to do so even if it had 
resulted in a much longer and more costly war does not alter the 
reality that this was a special case and that such wars are unlikely. 
However, that experience was an excellent reminder that such 
wars are possible. 

A special problem arises if an adversary possesses or is believed 
to possess mass casualty weapons. Desert Storm was a conflict that 
the United States and its allies were prepared to fight despite the 
possible use of chemical weapons by the other side. If an adversary 
possesses nuclear weapons, which are much more lethal, the re- 
sponse might be different. At the very least, wars against such 
states would likely be restricted to limited objectives in the hope 
that the use of nuclear weapons might be deterred. 

Two other types of conflict in which the United States and its 
allies might become involved are worth flagging. Recent events 
suggest that the world might be entering an era in which the collec- 
tive use of force might be regarded not only as legitimate but also 
as desirable to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of 
states when, as in the case of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, this is done 
under the aegis of the United Nations or a regional organization. 
To assert that this is a likely transformation of international poli- 
tics would be to claim too much. The response to Iraq's invasion of 
Kuwait might well turn out to have been a special case in this re- 
spect as well. But such a transformation is possible if the long-pro- 
claimed but heretofore little implemented principle of collective 
security has now actually taken hold in the world. 

32 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the list Century 

Even less likely, but not totally out of the question, is the possi- 
bility that an internationally sanctioned use of force might be re- 
garded as legitimate and desirable to defend democratic principles 
and human rights when a government's behavior within its own 
borders is an affront to universally held human values. This would 
imply that the balance between the principle of defending human 
life and human rights, which have often been in conflict in the 
past, has shifted towards the latter. Whether today, for example, 
the world would sit back and just watch an Idi Amin or a Pol Pot 
slaughter his own people is not clear. The U.S. interventions into 
Grenada and Panama could be viewed somewhat in these terms, 
although the latter was a purely unilateral action. So could the Af- 
rican collective intervention in Liberia. This is not an issue of col- 
lective security in the traditional sense of the security of sovereign 
states, but rather a commitment to a collective defense of human 
rights. If either of these principles does turn out to be a new ele- 
ment of international relations, then U.S. forces, together with 
forces of other countries, will certainly be involved, although not 
necessarily every time. 


This discussion suggests several conclusions about the spectrum 
of conflict and its utility as a tool of planning U.S. strategy, force 
structure and weapons. These are recapitulated below. 

1. The search for a basis for U.S. strategy, force structure and 
weapons choices can no longer be focused on defining the 
spectrum of conflict, but must now focus on a combination of 
very important peacetime functions of military forces and the 
need to prepare for warfare at various levels of conflicts. 

2. These peacetime functions, including peacetime force balanc- 
ing - by which is meant avoiding excessive force imbalances - 
and various types of assistance projection, will play a much 
larger role in the design of our strategy, the sizing and structur- 
ing of our forces, and the choice of our weapons than they have 
in the past. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

3. Defining the spectrum of conflict will remain important and 
this spectrum will have some different characteristics in the fu- 

- the possibility of a large-scale nuclear war and of glo- 
bal conventional war has all but disappeared; 

- regional conflicts remain quite possible, but are likely 
to be about ~ and to be recognized to be about - re- 
gional issues, not to be elements of or surrogates for 
global competition between superpowers; and 

- regional conflicts are more likely to be fought by re- 
gional actors, without direct involvement by global 

4. Low intensity conflict will remain more likely than high inten- 

5. Regional conflicts remain possible and could vary greatly in 
length and intensity. Large-scale regional conflicts involving 
the United States are unlikely, but possible. 

6. In the future, the collective use of force to defend national sov- 
ereignty or territorial integrity of states against aggressors or to 
defend democratic principles and human rights against a gov- 
ernment whose domestic behavior is an affront to universally 
held human values might be considered not only legitimate 
but also desirable. 

34 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter III 

DESERT STORM: Exception 
or Rule in the Years Ahead? 

BGen Paul Van Riper, USMC 

"It is difficult indeed to postulate the future of military 
matters. For military establishments and strategists 
alike demonstrate a marvelous propensity for summing 
up at the close of each armed confrontation and forth- 
with setting about getting ready to fight over again, bet- 
ter, the conflict from which they just emerged." l 

General Dorm A. Starry 



fter every war there is a rush to determine the lessons 
learned. Desert Storm is no exception. In fact, instant critiques of- 
fering "lessons learned" appeared in the media during the first 
days of the air campaign. In the following weeks, professional 
journals were filled with stories of what went right or wrong. - Dur- 
ing the war and for several months after hostilities ended, of the 
military services sent teams to analyze and report on all aspects of 
the conflict. In July 1991, the Pentagon provided Congress an in- 
terim report on the war. By late fall, additional studies of Desert 
Storm were available from several think tanks. 

The more technical studies and analyses identify specific weap- 
ons, equipment, and procedures which failed to meet expectations. 
Most of these shortcomings have clear causes and effects, and 

1 From the foreword to Richard E. SimpkirTs Race to the Swift: Thoughts on Twenty-first Cen- 
tury Warfare, Brassey's Defense Publishers, London, p. vii. 

2 For a critical review of early journalism see Anthony H. Cordesman's "Rushing to Judg- 
ment on the Gulf War," Armed Forces Journal International June 1991, p. 66-72. 

Perspectives in Warfighting - 

Marine Corps University 

thus, definitive solutions. Yet, other critiques and reports, particu- 
larly those done outside of government, attempt to forecast the fu- 
ture for issues which are by nature uncertain. Examples include 
explicit projections describing how technology will affect future 
conflicts, specific predictions on the likelihood of low versus mid- 
intensity wars, and new hypotheses about the very nature of con- 
flict. Hasty analyses of such complex phenomena are unlikely to 
be useful. Furthermore, even quality studies done at a time remote 
from the event may not produce definitive answers to such in- 
volved subjects. Researchers and analysts, as well as historians, are 
reminded of Michael Howard's admonition that ". . . history what- 
ever its value in educating the judgment, teaches no lessons' . . ." 3 

With these thoughts in mind, my goal is to avoid the race to con- 
clusions about Operation Desert Storm. Rather, I intend to focus 
on some elements of that conflict which might serve the purpose of 
"educating our judgment" about war in the years ahead. My theme 
is that war is probabilistic, not deterministic, therefore, I maintain 
that in this new era of multiple, diffused, and vague threats, we 
must advance our warfighting capabilities to contend with a broad 
spectrum of ambiguous and dynamic challenges. 

Some have taken the view that this most recent war validates 
what in essence is an improved World War II force structure. They 
argue that all we need to do is to continue to make incremental im- 
provements. Others assert that Desert Storm is the last of the 
World War II-style wars. They argue that our rapid destruction of 
conventional forces has made them irrelevant, and that we are 
about to enter a new era of warfare. I believe these views are nei- 
ther correct nor incorrect. Our own Civil War, while it maintained 
the appearance of 18th and 19th century Napoleonic warfare, fore- 
shadowed with its Gatling guns, railroads, and telegraphs, the 
shape and intensity of World War I. Indeed, Operation Desert 
Storm contains within it the seeds of the nature of future conflict, 
the actual scope and appearance of which may bear little resem- 
blance to what transpired in the Gulf. 

3 Howard, Michael, The Lessons of History, York University Press, New Haven, 1991, p. 11. 

36 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

We are in a period of considerable political, economic, and tech- 
nological change. Thus, I believe we need to review our basic con- 
cepts about war if we are to successfully understand what has hap- 
pened and what may happen. We must avoid selectively using 
events of the Gulf War, as well as those surrounding it, to reinforce 
existing paradigms. On the contrary, we need to carefully examine 
our fundamental precepts of war, and identify what new perspec- 
tives about force and its use are worthy of further development. 
Specifically, we must consider how we think about war, how we 
plan to conduct it, and how we deploy and employ forces. 

To this end, my paper is organized into three sections. The first 
examines the way we study war and the theories developed to help 
us understand it. The second assesses the effectiveness of the proc- 
esses used to develop national military strategy and campaign 
plans. The third outlines the role that naval expeditionary forces 
have within the context of both our national military strategy and 
the changes occurring throughout the world. 


Fundamental to learning is the requirement for a theory about 
the subject. Theories enable us to approach learning in either a 
philosophical or analytical manner and to order the knowledge we 
gain. 4 

The theory and nature of war are inexorably joined. 
Theory provides the basis upon which the nature of 
war can be determined. Theory is education and delib- 
eration that forms a common understanding and a 
norm against which one can compare the situation at 
hand. Without a theory of war, there is no point of de- 
parture to begin understanding how and why wars are 
fought. 5 

4 Simpson, M. M. Ill, "The Essential Clausewitz," Naval War College Review, March-April 
1982, p. 54. 

5 Theory and Nature of War, Course Outline for Academic Year 1991-92, Command and Staff 
College, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Virginia, p. 7. 

Perspectives in Warfighting & 

Marine Corps University 

For most of the 215 years of our Nation's existence, American 
military officers devoted little time to gaining an intellectual un- 
derstanding of war. As a result, the theory and nature of war re- 
ceived inadequate attention. 

Until the mid-1800s, military learning focused on the practical 
aspects of tactics. In the Civil War years and those immediately 
following, the writings of Baron Antoine Henri Jomini had the 
most influence on Army leadership. Although Jomini is frequently 
referred to as a theorist of war, it was his mechanical and geometri- 
cal explanations of strategy and tactics that were most frequently 

Near the turn of this century, Alfred Thayer Mahan's ideas on 
naval power were widely examined. His basic hypothesis was that 
sea power is vital to a nation's growth, prosperity and security. He 
was a distinguished historian; however, he is primarily remem- 
bered as a proponent (some would say propagandist) for employ- 
ing sea power for nationalistic goals. 

Jomini's and Mahan's respective views on land and naval war- 
fare were fairly widespread, but not universal. Moreover, they did 
not produce theories providing for a comprehensive understand- 
ing of war. 

Although few military leaders recognize his name today, it was 
Emory Upton's views that influenced most officers from before 
World War I until after the Korean War. Colonel Harry Summers 
notes that an Army doctrinal manual of 1936 reflecting Upton's 
thoughts contained the statement, "Strategy begins where politics 
end. All that soldiers ask is that once the policy is settled, strategy 
and command shall be regarded as being in a sphere apart from 
politics." 6 Summers goes on to observe that: 


6 Summers, Colonel Harry G., U.S. Army (Ret.), "Clausewitz and Strategy Today," Naval 
War College Review, March-April 1983, p. 41. 

38 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

This was more than just a statement of doctrine, it 
represented the mindset of the Army's senior leader- 
ship. This was illustrated in the testimony of General of 
the Army Douglas MacArthur before the Senate in 
1951. 'The general definition which for many decades 
has been accepted," MacArthur said, 'was that . 
when all political means failed, we then go to force. " 7 

Our failure in Korea and the complexities brought to warfare by 
the advent of nuclear weapons ". . . marked the end of these neo- 
Uptonian theories." 8 As military leaders struggled to understand 
this changed world, civilian academics and operational analysts 
stepped in to fill the intellectual void. Generals and admirals fo- 
cused on weapons and tactics. For many officers, strategic think- 
ing came to equate to the study of nuclear warfare. However, as 
Bernard Brodie notes, after two decades of activity, few significant 
contributions were made by these "civilian strategists" beyond the 
introduction of systems analysis into the Department of Defense. 9 

Only the shock of losing Vietnam and the recriminations in the 
aftermath brought American military officers to a serious study of 
the theory and nature of war. Two events in the mid-1970s spurred 
their efforts. The first was the radical revamping of the Naval War 
College's curriculum initiated by Admiral Stansfleld Turner in 
1973. The second was the publication in 1976 of a greatly improved 
translation of Carl von Clausewitz' On War. 10 The revised Naval 
War College program required its students to study war seriously, 
and Michael Howard's and Peter Paret's version of Clausewitz' 
masterpiece gave them something worthwhile to study. The intel- 
lectual revival begun at Newport eventually spread to the other 

7 Ibid., p. 41. 

8 Summers, Colonel Harry G., U.S. Army (Ret.), "Clausewitz: Eastern and Western 
Approaches to War," Air University Review, March-April 1986, p. 63. 

9 Brodie, Bernard, War and Politics, Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc., New York. pp. 473 and 


10 Von Clausewitz, Carl, On War, edited and translated by Michael Howard and Peter 
Paret, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1976. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

American war colleges and command and staff schools. 11 

Clausewitz' theories were absorbed by a significant number of 
military officers in the 10 years prior to Desert Storm. These war 
college graduates exposed much of the senior civilian leadership 
in the Department of Defense to the Clausewitzian approach to 
understanding war. This is evidenced by the incorporation of 
Clausewitzian concepts in the President's National Security Strate- 
gy, its resultant National Military Strategy, and war plans devel- 
oped during the late 1980s. It was clear, if war became necessary, it 
was to be the continuation of policy with other means. 12 In addi- 
tion, Clausewitzian influence is found in doctrinal manuals writ- 
ten after 1982. They contain notions put forth by the German phi- 
losopher on centers of gravity, uncertainty, friction, and the fog of 
war. 13 

It is not overstating the case to say that both Desert Shield and 
Desert Storm were planned and executed by military and civilian 
leaders who were well-grounded in Clausewitzian theory. As a re- 
sult, they discharged their duties in a much different manner than 
their Vietnam-era counterparts. 

After the victory in the Gulf War, members of the military re- 
form movement attempted to garner credit for the change in mili- 
tary thinking. 14 Although many of the ideas put forth by the mili- 
tary reformers found a wide audience in the armed forces in the 

H As a student in the Naval Command and Staff Course in 1977-78, when On War was ini- 
tially introduced, I, like most others, was excited by the new and profound knowledge to 
which we were exposed for the first time. We were provided the means to think about war in 
an entirely different manner, one which made eminent sense. Ironically, I was also a stu- 
dent at the Army War College in 1981-82 when the Howard and Paret rendering of On War 
was first introduced there with the same effect. 

12 An interesting discussion oiwith other means vice by other means is contained in James 
E. King's "On Clausewitz: Master Theorist of War," Naval War College Review, Fall 1977, p. 
30. King argues that by suggests replacement while with connotes an additional component. 

13 See in particular U.S. Army Field Manual 100-5, Operations dated 5 May 1986, and U.S. 
Marine Corps Fleet Marine Force Manual 1, Warfighting, dated 6 March 1989. 

14 Carey, Peter, "The Fight to Change How America Fights," U.S. News & World Report, 
May 6, 1991, pp. 30-31. 

40 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

1980s, especially in the Army and Marine Corps, the climate for 
this acceptance was created by the self-generated intellectual reviv- 
al begun within the professional military schools. 

Many of the officers associated with the renaissance of military 
thinking were startled in the spring of 1991 by the ideas presented 
by Martin van Creveld in The Transformation of War: The Most Rad- 
ical Reinterpretation of Armed Conflict Since Clausewitz. Van Creveld 
opens his new book declaring, "The present volume has a purpose; 
namely to address some of the most fundamental problems pre- 
sented by war in all ages . . . ." 15 He follows shortly with the pro- 
vocative statement that, "The present volume also has a message ~ 
namely, that contemporary 'strategic' thought about every one of 
these problems is fundamentally flawed; and in addition, is rooted 
in a 'Clausewitzian' world picture that is either obsolete or wrong." 
16 Van Creveld continues, "This work aims at providing a new, 
non-Clausewitzian framework for thinking about war, while at the 
same time trying to look into the future." 17 

At the heart of van Creveld's argument is the assertion that wars 
are often fought for other than political goals and not necessarily 
by the "remarkable trinity" of the people, the army, and the gov- 
ernment. He reasons that the expense and complexity of large 
modern forces will cause them to disappear, thus, states will be- 
come less able to protect their citizens against unconventional as- 
sailants. The role of defending society in this new world of low-in- 
tensity conflicts will be taken over by organizations other than na- 

Neither the academic nor military communities have been re- 
luctant to challenge the radical ideas contained in The Transforma- 
tion of War. One reviewer notes that "... a reader cannot help but 

15 Van Creveld, Martin, The Transformation of War: The Most Radical Reinterpretation of 
Armed Conflict Since Clausewitz, The Free Press, New York, 1991, p. ix. 

16 Ibid. 

17 Ibid. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 41 

Marine Corps University 

think of the Gulf War and judge the author's words and conclu- 
sions against it." 18 Other reviewers make similar comments. Per- 
haps van Creveld should have heeded Clausewitz' advice on "criti- 
cal analysis," in part, his warning that "serious trouble arises only 
when known facts are forcibly stretched to explain effects; for this 
confers on these facts a spurious importance." 19 This criticism is 
not meant to say, however, that van Creveld's ideas on future con- 
flicts, notably, those of low-intensity do not have relevance. War- 
fare, particularly warfare on land, may be into a "fourth genera- 
tion." 20 A working group from the Commission on Integrated 
Long-Term Strategy warned in June 1988: 

By the first decade of the next century, we must anti- 
cipate a world in which groups hostile to the United 
States— governments and non-governmental political 
or criminal organizations — will have access to both 
weapons of devastating power and reliable means to 
deliver them. The United States and its traditional 
allies of the Northern Hemisphere could possibly be at- 
tacked, and must certainly expect to be threatened, by 
diverse nations and groups who, compared with the 
current set of such foes, will be both more numerous 
and more dangerous. 21 

Interpreting trends and predicting the level, scale, and intensity 
of impending conflicts as van Creveld and the Commission at- 

18 Werrell, Kenneth P., The Journal of Military History, October 1991, p. 531. 

19 Clausewitz, p. 157. 

20 Lind, William S.,, "The Changing Face of War: Into the Fourth Generation," Ma- 
rine Corps Gazette, October 1989, pp. 22-26. This article was published simultaneously in the 
October 1989 issue of Military Affairs. The first generation of modern is that of line and col- 
umn prevalent until the 1870s when advances in weapons forced extended-order tactics em- 
ploying fire and movement, the second generation. A third generation using nonlinear tac- 
tics and relying on infiltration and deep attacks evolved from German innovations in the 
latter stages of World War I. A fourth generation is postulated to be one of no fronts, with 
terrorists attempting to collapse opponents from within. Such terrorists might be sponsored 
by or be members of organizations other than those of a traditional nation-state structure. A 
detailed discussion of the first three generations of war is contained in John A. English's On 
Infantry, Praeger, New York, 1981. 

21 Supporting U.S. Strategy for Third World Conflict, A Report by Regional Conflict Working 
Group to the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy, U.S. Government Printing 
Office, Washington, D.C., June 30, 1988, pp. 12 and 13. 

42 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

tempt to do, is not the same as fashioning a theory that 
encompasses all aspects of war. At this point, therefore, the ques- 
tion becomes, does van Creveld's theory on the nature of future 
wars have utility? My conclusion is that his thesis fails the test for it 
does not have "... a set of general and interrelated statements 
about [war] that (1) are internally consistent, (2) permit us to ex- 
plain or predict specific events, and (3) are thereby open to 
empirical testing." 22 

Desert Storm can be understood and explained from Clause- 
witz' viewpoint as a war fought by states (the Coalition Forces) for 
political objectives that could not be fully achieved with other 
means. It was "an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will." 
Moreover, the peoples, armies, and governments of the several na- 
tions comprising the Coalition were linked and can be analyzed in 
Clausewitz' framework of violence, chance and probability, the 
foundation for his "remarkable trinity." 23 Finally, battles and en- 
gagements were fought to achieve campaign objectives that were 
designed to accomplish the strategic goals. 

Van Creveld, by contrast, views Desert Storm as an aberration, 
unique in and of itself as regards the future. 24 Every war is unique 
as is each day in history. A theory of war must be capable of ex- 
plaining all events if it is to have wide applicability and therefore 
usefulness. Van Creveld's does not, for his ". . . basic postulate is 
that, already today, the most powerful modern armed forces are 

(^"><^"><^"X.^ - > 

22 Nelson, Keith and Spencer, Olin, Why War? Ideology, Theory, and History, University of 
California Press. Berkeley, 1979, p. 3. 

23 For an explanation of the "remarkable trinity" see pages 201 through 207 of Peter Paret's 
chapter on Clausewitz in Makers of Modern Strategy: From Machiavelli to the Nuclear Age, 
Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 1986. 

24 In a personal interview on August 14. 1991. I asked Doctor van Creveld how he would 
explain the apparent discrepancy between the theory he advances in his book and recent 
events. Desert Storm being the most important. He responded, "We are nearing the end of a 
350-year period in which states go to war. War is now between third and fourth rate 
countries. Desert Storm was an aberration, a last gasp in this period of transition." 

Perspectives in Warfighting ™ 

Marine Corps University 

largely irrelevant to modern war ~ indeed that their relevance 
stands in inverse proportion to their modernity." 25 Desert Storm 
belies this hypothesis. 

For the future we would do well to note Bernard Brodie's de- 
scription of Clausewitz' On War as ". . . not simply the greatest but 
the only truly great book on war." 26 Accordingly, it must remain 
central to the study of war, especially in America's professional 
military schools. Likewise, those high level officials responsible for 
developing policy and strategy as well as those military officers 
charged with preparing contingency plans or writing doctrine 
must be well versed in the thoughts contained in On War. The writ- 
ings of Sun Tzu, Jomini, Mahan, Douhet, Liddell-Hart, Luttwak, 
and van Creveld, to name a few, are of considerable importance, 
and military and civilian leaders must be exposed to all. But only 
Clausewitz' thoughts, as difficult as they are to interpret, give us a 
comprehensive understanding of war. 

What of the nature of future wars? Clausewitzian theory tells us 
that their very essence will be a clash between human wills. The 
dynamic action such clashes produce will ensure ample uncertain- 
ty, friction, and disorder. Violence is the means used to compel the 
enemy to meet our demands, thus danger will be inherent. Both 
moral and physical forces will be employed. Of these, moral forces 
will be the most powerful though they cannot be quantified. The 
intensity of the conflicts may range from low to high depending on 
such factors as ". . . policy objectives, military means available, na- 
tional will, and density of fighting forces or combat power on the 
battlefield." 27 With this understanding of war we can say with as- 
surance that Desert Storm can be viewed as both exception and 
rule in the years ahead. 

25 Van Creveld, p. 32. 

2 6 Clausewitz, p. 53. 

27 U.S. Marine Corps Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) -1, Warfighting, Government 
Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 6 March 1989, p. 21. 

44 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


The proposed cover letter for a September 1991 draft of the Na- 
tional Military Strategy for the 1990s notes that, "The strategy builds 
upon the President's 'Aspen speech' on defense, his National Secu- 
rity Strategy, and his recognition of the emergence of a new world 
order." Such an explicit connection between policy and military 
strategy would have been hard to identify prior to 1988, when Pres- 
ident Reagan signed the first document titled, National Security 
Strategy. Until then, determining specific policy guidance was a 
difficult task for those charged with developing military strategy. 
Among the few sources they could turn to were the Secretary of 
Defense's Annual Report to Congress and the "Defense Guidance." 28 
There was no focused process for developing a military strategy 
which reflected national goals and objectives. 

This deficiency was recognized early on by those civilian and 
military officials who were influenced by the Clausewitzian under- 
standing of war. They began to highlight the necessity of tying 
ends (policy) to means (strategy). Moreover, they advocated identi- 
fying national interests and goals, and assessing which instru- 
ments of national power (diplomatic, political, economic, and mil- 
itary) could best be employed to achieve them. This policy level ac- 
tivity is frequently referred to as "grand strategy." 

When the military is selected as an appropriate option in sup- 
port of the national security strategy, a force structure must be cre- 
ated and plans for its deployment and employment developed. The 
processes encompassing these measurers constitute global planning 
and the result is "military strategy." The specific detailed planning 
for deployment and employment of forces in a geographical area is 
considered regional planning and the product is "operational" or 
"theater strategy." The latter process is defined ". . . as the art and 
science of planning, orchestrating, and directing military cam- 

28 "Defense Guidance" was a key document in the Department of Defense's Planning. 
Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS) prior to 1988. 

Perspectives in Warfighting ^ 

Marine Corps University 

paigns within a theater of operations to achieve national security 
objectives." 29 

In retrospect the benefits of this logical method of thinking 
about and preparing for conflict are obvious when we consider the 
Gulf War. A clear thread runs from President Bush's National Se- 
curity Strategy of March 1990, where he states under "Our Interests 
and Objectives in the 1990s" that: 

The United States seeks, whenever possible in con- 
cert with its allies, to: - deter any aggression that could 
threaten its security and, should deterrence fail, repel or 
defeat military attack and end conflict on terms 
favorable to the United States and its interests and 
allies 30 

to the U. S. national policy objectives he announced on 5 August 

~ Immediate, complete, and unconditional with- 
drawal of all Iraqi forces from Kuwait; 

- Restoration of Kuwait's legitimate government; 

~ Security and stability of Saudi Arabia and the Per- 
sian Gulf; and 

~ Safety and protection of the lives of American citi- 
zens abroad. 31 

Based on these policy objectives and the Secretary of Defense's 
guidance, the following military objectives were framed for opera- 
tion Desert Shield; ". . . to establish a defensive capability in 
theater to deter Saddam Hussein from continued aggression, to 

29 Drew, Colonel Dennis M. (U.S. Air Force) and Donald M. Snow, Making Strategy; An In- 
troduction to National Security Processes and Problems, Air University Press, Maxwell Air 
Force Base, Alabama, August 1988, p. 19. 

30 National Security Strategy of the United States, The White House, March 1990, p. 2. 

31 Conduct of the Persian Gulf Conflict; an Interim Report to Congress, Department of Defense, 
Washington, D.C., July 1991, p. 1-1. 

46 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

build and integrate Coalition forces, to enforce sanctions, to de- 
fend Saudi Arabia, and to defeat further Iraqi advances, if re- 
quired." 32 Military objectives for Operation Desert Storm were: 

-- Neutralization of the Iraqi national command au- 
thority's ability to direct military operations; 

- Ejection of Iraqi forces from Kuwait and destruc- 
tion of Iraq's offensive threat to the region, includ- 
ing the Republican Guard in the Kuwait Theater 
of Operations; 

~ Destruction of known nuclear, biological, and 
chemical weapon production and delivery capa- 
bilities, to include Iraq's known ballistic missile 
program; and 

~ Assistance in the restoration of the legitimate gov- 
ernment of Kuwait. 33 

This distinct articulation of military objectives for Operations 
Desert Shield and Desert Storm enabled field commanders to 
make their intent clear, focus planning efforts, and assign specific 
missions to combat units. The importance of this process cannot 
be overstated. Among five general lessons from the Gulf War, Sec- 
retary of Defense Cheney listed the first as "Decisive Presidential 
leadership [which] set clear goals, gave others confidence in Ameri- 
ca's sense of purpose, and rallied the domestic and international 
support necessary to reach those goals." 34 

The ability of the National Command Authority and military 
leaders to present well defined, consistent political and military 
objectives speaks well for the future. Prior to or at the outset of fu- 
ture crises the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chair- 

32 Ibid. 

33 Ibid., pp. 1-1 and 1-2. 

34 Ibid., pp. 1-4. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must act as deliberately to assess 
the situation, make decisions, and provide direction as they did for 
the crisis in the Gulf. In this regard, Desert Storm must become the 
rule in the years ahead. 

Achieving as clear a connection between "ends" and "means" in 
the future will prove more difficult. The dissolution of the Soviet 
Union and the demise of the Warsaw Pact have greatly lessened 
the potential threats. In addition, the threats that remain are more 
diffused. As a result there is less specificity in the Chairman of the 
Joint Chief of Staffs draft National Military Strategy and require- 
ments are not as focused. This indicates, as one critic of the draft 
document observes: 

Whereas military capability in the past could be 
justified in terms of the solution it provided to measur- 
able enemy threats operating in credible scenarios, it 
now must be based on the functional utility of forces for 
handling types of situations in unspecified settings. 35 

Under changes brought about by the Goldwater-Nichols De- 
partment of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, upon issuance of 
the National Military Strategy for the 1990s, the Secretary of Defense 
will provide guidance to link the national military strategy to the 
Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan. This guidance, coupled with the 
military objectives and strategic concepts contained in the Nation- 
al Military Strategy, will be used by the commanders-in-chief 
(CINCs) of the unified commands to develop campaign plans or 
"theater strategies." After further analysis, they will determine the 
capabilities and forces required to implement their strategies. 

The process as described above is relatively clearcut. However, 
the introduction of service developed maritime, air-land, and aero- 
space "strategies" somewhat muddies the water. 

The Maritime Strategy was born of the maritime strategy de- 

35 Batcheller, Colonel Gordon D., U.S. Marine Corps (Ret), "Where to Now?" Marine 
Corps Gazette, November 1991, p. 43. 

48 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

bates carried on from 1979 to 1985 as part of the renaissance of 
military thought during the period. 36 It was first published in 
1982. Skeptics viewed the Maritime Strategy as a pragmatic docu- 
ment to justify a 600-ship Navy. Rather, the basic concepts were 
formulated by Vice Admiral Forest P. Sherman in 1946 and 1947. 
37 In many ways, it was designed to move away from the opera- 
tional analysis approach to warfighting and the post-Vietnam de- 
fensive mentality prominent in the late 1970s. 38 Although criti- 
cized as a Navy-only strategy, it was presented from the outset as a 
component of national military strategy. Updated in 1986, the 
Maritime Strategy is currently undergoing a thorough review. An 
"Amphibious Warfare Strategy" was developed in 1986, however, it 
received scant attention compared to the Maritime Strategy. 

Until recently, the closest thing the U.S. Army had to a "strategy" 
was its doctrine of air-land battle. The Army never suggested, how- 
ever, that air-land battle be raised above the level of doctrine. This 
is not the case with the evolving follow-up concept, AirLand Oper- 
ations. AirLand Operations is being billed as one of the twin pil- 
lars of national military strategy, the other pillar being Maritime 
Strategy. 39 The U.S. Air Force is touting a major reorganization of 
its peacetime and operational structures as change ". . . guided by 
the strategic planning framework of Global Reach ~ Global Pow- 
er." 40 

Those responsible for the strategic planning process generally 
view service developed "strategies" as nothing more than contribu- 

36 Swartz, Captain Peter M., U.S. Navy, "Contemporary U.S. Naval Strategy: A Bibliogra- 
phy," The Maritime Strategy, U.S. Naval Institute, Annapolis, Maryland, January 1986. pp. 41 
and 42. 

37 Palmer, Michael A., Origins of the Maritme Strategy American Naval Strategy in the First 
Postwar Decade, Naval Historical Center, Washington, D.C., 1988, pp. xv-xix. 

38 Ibid., pp. xvi and xvii. 

39 AirLand Operations: A Concept for the Evolution of AirLand Battle for the Strategic Army of 
the 1990s and Beyond, TRADOC Pamphlet 525-5, Fort Monroe, Virginia, 1 August 1991. pp. 
3 and 4. 


Air Force Restructure, U.S. Air Force White Paper dated September 1991, p. 1. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

tions to force development and outlines of warfighting doctrine. 
Theater CINCs may take them into account, but they are not held 
accountable for any portion of them as they are for the national 
military strategy. 

We return from this excursion of examining service-oriented 
"strategies" to consider how theater commanders translate strate- 
gic policy into operational direction for their subordinates. 
Though there is no standard method for developing campaign or 
operational-level plans, there is general agreement that the process 
should coordinate ground, air, and naval forces to secure a syner- 
gistic effect. It should also allow the commander to render his vi- 
sion and intent into phased actions from before the opening en- 
gagement, through each battle until the desired conclusion is 
reached. These actions may encompass weeks or even months. In 
addition, a campaign plan must address command relationships 
and sustainment issues and provide the foundation for all other 
planning. 41 

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) undertook develop- 
ment of an offensive campaign plan early on during Operation 
Desert Shield. Though this effort was initially done as a prudent 
step to ensure an adequate contingency plan was on hand, it soon 
expanded into a major activity involving all of CENTCOM's com- 
ponent commanders. One unusual aspect of planning was the 
tasking of Third U.S. Army, the Army component command, with 
the development of the plan for ground operations since CINC 
CENTCOM retained the function of land component commander. 
Albeit misnomers, subordinate component plans were titled air, 
ground, and naval "campaigns." The plan, which was redesignated 
Operations Order (OPORD) 91-001 on 17 January 1991, worked. 
Thus, it is hard to be too critical of the process which led to its de- 

41 Mendel, Colonel William W, U.S. Army and Lieutenant Colonel Floyd T. Banks, Jr., 
U.S. Army, Campaign Planning, Final Report, Strategic Studies Institute, U.S. Army War 
College, Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania, 4 January 1988. This report resulted from a study 
conducted in 1986 and 1987 when the paucity of doctrine on operational-level planning was 
recognized. The U.S. Marine Corps published a Fleet Marine Force Manual (FMFM) 1-1 
Campaigning in January 1991. 

50 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century- 

velopment. The knowledge gained by those involved will be incor- 
porated into efforts by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and service staffs to 
create joint and combined doctrine for campaign planning. 

The procedures used to create the plan employed to successfully 
prosecute Operation Desert Storm were fundamentally sound, but 
somewhat convoluted. With proper refinement they should be- 
come the rule in the years ahead. 


In his 1977 preface to Navies and Foreign Policy, Ken Booth ob- 
served, "The study of naval policy has been the Cinderella of stra- 
tegic studies. It has been badly neglected." 42 His book and Ed- 
ward Luttwak's The Political Uses of Sea Power did much to create a 
wider understanding of how naval forces can be used to support 
national interests. There is still not as much general interest in 
things naval as in nuclear, air-land, and aerospace. As a conse- 
quence a considerable portion of the thinking about the strategic 
and operational uses of naval power has been done "in house" by 
the Naval War College's Strategic Studies Group and the Navy's 
Center for Naval Analyses. 

The reduced interest in naval subjects and activities was re- 
flected in the lack of press attention to the U.S. Navy's activities 
prior to and during Desert Storm. Though two U.S. Navy carriers, 
the Eisenhower and Independence, were in Southwest Asia before 
U.S. air or ground forces, it was the latter which received most of 
the publicity. When the air war commenced, what interest there 
was in the Navy's enforcement of United Nations' sanctions quick- 
ly faded. During the ground war, few media representatives wanted 
to go aboard ships and miss the more easily recorded and reported 
ground actions. 

Yet, in the period from August 1990 to June 1991 the Navy dem- 
onstrated in Southwest Asia and around the globe those capa- 

42 Booth, Ken, Navies and Foreign Policy, Croom Helm Ltd., London. 1977, p. 10. 

Marine Corps University 

bilities which make it such a vital strategic and operational tool. At 
the same time as 7th Fleet units were intercepting some 30 ships a 
day in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aqaba and Persian Gulf, rehearsing 
amphibious assaults in Oman and Saudi Arabia, and providing 
air cover for deploying forces, other Navy and Marine units were 
evacuating more than 2,400 American and foreign citizens from 
strife-torn Liberia. 43 Just days before the Desert Storm air war be- 
gan, Marine helicopters with embarked combat troops flew from 
7th Fleet ships, refueling twice in mid-air, to Mogadishu, the capi- 
tal of Somalia where 260 American and other nationals were res- 
cued from a dangerous rebellion. In addition, naval forces provid- 
ed significant support to United Nations' efforts to assist Kurdish 
refugees in Turkey and northern Iraq. They aided the evacuation 
of 17,600 American military personnel and their dependents from 
the hazards of the volcanic eruption in the Philippines and provid- 
ed critical humanitarian aid to the people of flood ravaged Bangla- 
desh. During Desert Storm itself, Navy and Marine aircraft flew 
missions throughout the theater, Navy ships launched cruise mis- 
siles, and the Marine Corps ground units fought their way through 
the toughest Iraqi defenses. The ability to respond to a wide range 
of contingencies amply demonstrated the utility of American na- 
val expeditionary forces. 

At this point we need to consider how naval expeditionary forces 
can best support the U.S. national security objectives in the years 
ahead. There will be challenges, but they will differ considerably 
from those we have focused upon since World War II. The lessen- 
ing Soviet threat in Europe will allow us to significantly alter how 
we structure and deploy our forces. This is recognized in the "four 
fundamental demands" identified in the President's most recent 
statement of national security strategy; deterrence, presence, crisis 
response, and reconstitution. 44 The requirements of forward pres- 
ence and crisis response will most influence the role Navy and Ma- 
rine Corps forces play in the remainder of the 20th Century. 

43 "The Sea Services' Role in Desert Shield/Storm," White Paper, The Navy League of the 
United States, Arlington, Virginia, 1991. 

44 National Security Strategy of the United States, The White House, August 1991, pp. 25-30. 

52 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

The Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Plans, Policy and 
Operations discerned the need more than a year ago to examine 
how naval forces could be deployed more effectively in the mid- 
1990s and asked the Center for Naval Analyses' Strategic Policy 
Analysis Group to research the issue. The Group approached this 
task by asking three questions: 

— What is the nature of peacetime presence and why 
are naval forces suited for this role? 

— What purposes can be served by naval presence 
forces in supporting U.S. national security objec- 

— How can naval forces be deployed and operated to 
best accomplish their presence missions? 45 

The analysis concluded that deployed naval forces have the ad- 
vantages of: (1) being able to move from point to point (mobility), 
(2) with the inherent ability to execute a variety of missions (flexi- 
bility), (3) without requiring support or permission from other na- 
tions (availability), (4) while raising or lowering the threat pre- 
sented as required (controllability), and (5) offering real and per- 
ceived combat power (capability). 46 

The analysis also observed that forward deployed naval forces 
can be used for a number of purposes including reassuring friendly 
governments of U.S. support, deterring adversaries from threaten- 
ing or taking hostile actions against U.S. interests, signaling U.S. 
concern about such things as freedom of the sea, and positioning 
themselves to respond to developing crises. 47 Naval forces can be 

45 Kahan, Jerome H. and Jeffrey I. Sands, Alternative Naval Deployment Concepts: Demand 
for Deployed Naval Forces 1991-1999, CNA Research Memorandum 91-92, Center for Naval 
Analyses, Alexandria, Virginia, August 1991, pp. 2, 2-1 and 2-2. 

146 Ibid., pp. 2-3 and 2-4. The five assets are very similar to seven discussed by Ken Booth on 
pages 34-36 of Navies and Foreign Policy. 

47 Ibid., pp. 2-4 and 2-5. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

stationed in areas on a continuous or intermittent basis depending 
on the effects desired. Similarly, they can adjust their "visibility" to 
accomplish the mission assigned. Finally, naval forces are able to 
conduct any number of activities such as port calls and exercises to 
meet objectives. 48 

Employing the Delphi method, the Strategic Policy Analysis 
Group examined U.S. interests, threats or challenges to these inter- 
ests. The role of the military, in particular naval forces, in support- 
ing these interests in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean/Persian 
Gulf, Western Pacific and Caribbean was then examined. To sup- 
port U.S. interests ten "geostrategic 'centers of gravity' for peace- 
time deployments" were identified. Subsequent analysis deter- 
mined the types of naval forces which might be needed in each of 
the ten deployment zones and the amount of time those forces 
would need to be present on an annual basis. 

This effort by the Center for Naval Analyses represents one of 
the several similar studies being undertaken by the Navy. The Ma- 
rine Corps is also examining ways to meet the demands of pres- 
ence and crisis response more effectively. The initial draft of the 
new Marine Corps Capabilities Plan states, "Strengthening our naval 
expeditionary capabilities to support joint commanders is our 
number one planning objective." In addition to enhancing the 
capabilities of the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) com- 
mand element through restructuring and doctrinal changes, the 
Corps is developing concepts to allow for a more flexible deploy- 
ment of its forces. The building blocks of these "packages" of 
forces are crisis action modules which will allow for various com- 
binations of strategic deployment. 

As the Navy and Marine Corps merge ongoing efforts to im- 
prove strategic mobility and operational capabilities, naval expedi- 
tionary forces will become even more versatile and effective instru- 
ments for the warfighting CINCs. Their utility in the past, particu- 
larly during Desert Shield and Desert Storm indicates employ- 

48 Ibid., pp. 2-7 - 2-12. 

54 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

ment of such forces to support the demands of forward presence 
and crisis response will be the rule in the years ahead. 


A remarkable transition occurred within the American Armed 
Forces between the closing days of the Vietnam War and the open- 
ing shots of Operation Desert Storm. A military force of exception- 
al competence and prowess rose from the ashes of a national de- 
feat. The foundation for this resurrection was an intellectual awak- 
ening in the officer corps. The results were revolutionized security 
policy, strategy, and doctrine. 

Studying and understanding the nature of war made clear the 
connection of national policy goals and military strategy. This led 
to the development of a national policy process which focused 
plans and facilitated the effective application of force. The manner 
in which the United States went to war in Southwest Asia will serve 
as a classic example of sound decision making in the years ahead. 
Our task is to strengthen the process. We must keep the study of 
war as the center piece of our professional military education. 

The value of naval expeditionary forces was also made evident 
by the events of the past 18 months. They provided the warfighting 
commanders a powerful, flexible and adaptable means of bringing 
combat power to bear where and when it was needed. The more 
ambiguous and fractured global environment we have inherited 
will certainly require such forces in the future. 

Operation Desert Storm is the exception and the rule for the 
years ahead. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Section II 

Forward Deployed 
Strategy and Forces 


.n the previous section, the emerging outline of a much-al- 
tered strategic environment was examined by our contributors. In 
this section, our authors begin to forge the link between U.S. strate- 
gic doctrine and the role of forward deployed forces in executing 
that doctrine. General Alfred Gray asserts in his article that future 
military contingencies can be expected to have a regional focus. 
The U.S. must remain engaged in the world to counter ambitious 
regional powers, resurgent nationalists, ethnic and religious 
rivalries, drug cartels and terrorist organizations which present 
very real threats to the enduring interests of this country. 

Gray believes that the Navy and Marine Corps have the proper 
mix of forces at present to deter a resurgent or emerging global threat, 
and to respond to prevent the most distant stirring of regional insta- 
bility. Naval expeditionary forces, while focused on the mid-to-low 
end of the range of conflict, have the capability to operate across 
the entire spectrum. The maritime superiority conferred by aircraft 
carriers, naval gunfire, support ships, Maritime Prepositioning 
Ships, and Marine ground forces highlights the fundamental truth 
that the U.S. remains a maritime nation and must retain and dem- 
onstrate the ability to secure the seas that connect this country to 
its vital interests. 

The forward presence of naval forces in proximity to potential crisis 
areas remains a key element of U.S. security. While forward-based 
forces provide optimal leverage in a regional crisis, the vulner- 
ability and expense of these forces mean that the Navy and Marine 
Corps will remain the primary means of maintaining regional in- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 5 7 

Marine Corps University 

fluence. This reliance on forward naval presence does not dimin- 
ish the importance of other service capabilities but underscores the 
importance of force sequencing across the full spectrum of combat 
operations to exploit the particular strengths of individual services. 

Given the proposed cutbacks in future U.S. military outlays, 
Gray argues that the deployment of naval forces must change in 
several respects: smaller naval forces must be more closely tailored 
to specific missions and naval forces can no longer be "tethered" to 
a specific region. To adapt to changing circumstances, the Marine 
Corps has developed an array of improved deployment packages 
and special task groups which allow Marine Air-Ground Task 
Forces (MAGTFs) to fulfill their forward presence mission. 

Lieutenant General Bernard Trainor argues in his paper that 
containment alliances have lost their salience and significance. 
Regional arrangements will continue to be useful, but must be as- 
sessed on a careful basis according to evolving national security 
priorities. The U.S. must ensure unilateral freedom of action while 
selectively benefitting from alliances and security arrangements, 
including those under United Nations auspices. American inter- 
ests abroad encompass political, economic and moral objectives, 
with each interest calling for a different form and level of military 
involvement. Only the Middle East is militarily critical because of 
American dependence on Persian Gulf oil. 

General Trainor asserts that with the dissolution of the Soviet 
empire and the inevitable reduction and retrenchment of the 
American military establishment, the U.S. must restructure its 
forces to be responsive to new national requirements. For naval 
forces this shift will call for a downgrading of defense of the sea 
lanes as their first priority. In its stead, the capacity to project 
forces regionally will increase in importance. Given anticipated 
manpower constraints and the value of high technology, naval 
expeditionary forces should exploit American superiority in technology 
to effectively and efficiently perform their assigned missions with 
fewer resources. 

Jacquelyn Davis begins her paper with the observation that a 

58 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

significant shift in the foundation of U.S. national security policy 
was underway even before Desert Shield/Storm. The reduced risk 
of war in Europe, contribued to a rethinking of U.S. global strategy, 
including the importance of the extended deterrence concept and 
the role of forward-based forces. Organized around the Base Force 
concept, this emerging, new U.S. military strategy seeks to protect 
enduring American interests, including commercial economic in- 
terests, without reliance on the large-scale forward deployment of 
U.S. forces and possibly without recourse to formalized alliance 
structures of the Cold War years. In the future, U.S.-alliance rela- 
tionships will likely be of a qualitatively different nature than they 
were in the past, characterized by a greater fluidity of command re- 
lationships and different types of forward presence. 

As in the immediate past, the twin tasks of preserving stability in 
regional theaters of importance to the U.S. and the capacity to fore- 
stall the rise of destabilizing regional hegemonies remain central 
to U.S. national security objectives. Yet, in the post-Cold War era, 
it will be more difficult to sustain support for forward deployment 
of U.S. forces, especially as the U.S. lacks a readily perceived ad- 

In this context, Dr. Davis concludes that it is likely that both 
U.S. Navy and Marine Corps forces will play an even more impor- 
tant role in future strategic planning. Fundamental to the policy of 
peacetime engagement are force-sizing and deployment plans, 
which will increasingly be shaped by contingency planning for 
unstable areas. In common with the past, this imposes upon the 
U.S., a requirement for force structure modernization that allows 
for a flexible mix of capabilities, greater self-sufficiency, and force 

Perspectives in Warfighting 59 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter I 

Naval Expeditionary Forces 

and Strategic Planning; 
Enhancing Options Available 

to the 
National Command Authority 

Gen Alfred Gray, USMC (Ret.) 


he dramatic changes in the geostrategic environment dur- 
ing the past two years — the destruction of the Berlin Wall, the dis- 
integration of the Warsaw Pact as a military alliance, the ongoing 
removal of Soviet troops and arms from Eastern Europe, and the 
conflict in Southwest Asia — have brought about a corresponding 
change to the Nation's security requirements. 

In this new era, the United States must rethink its military force 
requirements, and how these forces may be best used to match 
ends to means. During the coming decade, the Navy and Marine 
Corps will be called upon to conduct a wide variety of operations 
from peacetime presence, through crisis response, to conflict reso- 
lution. Many of these operations, such as strategic deterrence and 
protection of American lives overseas, have been performed by naval 
forces for years. However, the emergence of a multi-polar world, 
with its increasing potential for regional instability and conflict, 
will have a significant impact on future military planning and 
force structure. The Navy and Marine Corps have been looking to 
the future in order to develop a strategy which can meet the de- 
mands of a changing international environment. 

In large part, the global peace enjoyed by most of the world's de- 
veloped nations since 1945 has, in fact, been guaranteed by U.S. 

Perspectives in Warfighting ^1 

Marine Corps University 

military power. The perseverance and sacrifice of the United States 
and its allies have realized the goals which they so steadfastly pur- 
sued throughout the Cold War — freedom and national self-deter- 
mination for the peoples of the world and a commitment to main- 
taining world stability. Our rapid response to the Iraqi aggression 
in Kuwait shows that the United States will continue to uphold 
these fundamental beliefs. Nevertheless, the recent necessity for 
U.S. military operations in Panama, Liberia, Somalia, and the Per- 
sian Gulf have clearly shown that the end of the Cold War has not 
made the world any less dangerous. 

As President Bush stated in a recent address at Aspen, Colorado, 

"What we require now is a defense policy that adapts to 
the significant changes we are witnessing — without neglect- 
ing the enduring realities that will continue to shape our secu- 
rity strategy. A policy of peacetime engagement every bit as 
constant and committed to the defense of our interests and 
ideals in today's world as in the time of conflict and Cold 

Economic and political competition will continue to foster con- 
ditions that can create regional instabilities and ignite crises. Ac- 
cordingly, our National Military Strategy will continue to recog- 
nize global commitments, although future military contingencies 
can be expected to have a regional focus. Because of the growing 
interdependence of the world's nations, the United States must re- 
main globally committed to maintaining political and military sta- 
bility in selective areas of the world. 

With the receding threat of global war, the United States must 
now concentrate its planning effort at the center of the spectrum 
where conflict has historically occurred and United States Navy 
and Marine forces have historically responded. In a new era the 
United States must enhance its capabilities for resolving multiple, 
unrelated crises. Instabilities occurring in the littoral regions of the 
world have required frequent response in the past, and can be ex- 
pected to continue in the future. 

62 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


Today the threat from the Soviet Union has changed dramati- 
cally. Beset by a wide range of fundamental economic and political 
problems, the Soviets are in the process of withdrawing their forces 
from the central European nations they have occupied since 1945, 
and the Soviet Union is experiencing its own internal disorder. As 
a consequence, it is now very unlikely that the Soviet Union could 
wage a conventional attack on the United States or its allies with- 
out an extensive period of forewarning. 

Nevertheless, for now and the foreseeable future, the Soviet 
Union's nuclear arsenal makes it the only nation capable of threat- 
ening our national existence. Prudence requires that the United 
States maintain forces of sufficient capability and numbers to de- 
ter any renewed threat to our Nation or our allies. 

There are, however, other forces today that threaten the stability 
of our interests and those of our allies. A growing number of 
countries and organizations are acquiring the means of waging in- 
tense, violent conflicts with weapons of great lethality and destruc- 
tiveness. Ambitious regional powers, resurgent nationalists, ethnic 
and religious rivalries, drug cartels and terrorist organizations pre- 
sent very real threats to the enduring interests of the United States, 
our friends and allies. 

At the same time, it is unlikely that the United States will enjoy 
the same level of cooperation or political unity among allies that 
was achieved in the recent past. Without the unifying effect of a 
common threat, current friends and allies will be less motivated to 
subordinate their national interests to a common purpose. This de- 
velopment will make it more difficult for the United States to 
maintain overseas bases and overflight rights, or to exert political 
and economic influence abroad. 

Today the Navy and Marine Corps have the right forces and 
forces to deter a resurgent or emerging global threat, and to re- 
spond immediately to even the most distant threat to regional sta- 
bility. Current United States naval forces represent the culmina- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

tion of decades of planning and investment, with the flexibility in- 
herent in these existing naval forces, the United States is uniquely 
prepared to adapt to a dynamic security environment. Fully capa- 
ble of operating throughout the entire spectrum of conflict. Naval 
expeditionary forces have focused on the mid-to-low end of this 
spectrum and offer multiple strategic planning options. 

Today, our existing naval forces are capable of fulfilling a signif- 
icant portion of our current and future defense requirements. 
These forces are unique in their capability to deter or respond to 
the types of threats and likely conflicts of the future security envi- 
ronment. Their mobility, readiness, and self-contained sustain- 
ability allows them to be where needed around the globe 
uninhibited by a reliance on overseas bases or access rights. Their 
ability to conduct operations across the spectrum of violence ranging 
from nation building to offensive power projection operations pro- 
vided our Nation with the military credibility and capability 
needed to discourage potential adversaries, and should deterrence 
fail, to respond to acts of aggression against our citizens and inter- 
ests. In an era of uncertainly and change, our aircraft carriers, naval 
gunfire support ships, Maritime Prepositioning Ships, and Ma- 
rines of our balanced fleet can provide the warriors, the floating air 
bases, infantry base camps, tank and artillery parks, ammunition 
dumps, maintenance facilities, hospitals, and command, control, 
communications and intelligence facilities needed for such strategic 
flexibility. These mobile sea bases, and the forces they house, pro- 
ject, and sustain, can provide our Nation with a competitive ad- 
vantage of unmatched utility. 

The United States remains fundamentally a maritime nation, 
and must retain and demonstrate the ability to secure the seas that 
connect this country to its allies, commercial partners, energy 
supplies, and resources. As President Bush has observed, "No 
amount of political change will alter the geographic fact that we 
are separated from many of our most important allies and interests 
by thousands of miles of water." Maritime superiority gives the Na- 
tion the ability to preserve the vital links to our allies and economic 
partners, to maintain a visible presence throughout the world, and to 
project military power inland whenever and wherever necessary. 

64 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


The President's National Security Strategy contains the following 
essential components: Deterrence, Forward Presence, Coalition 
with Allies, and Force Projection. In his 2 August 1990 address, the 
President identified the further requirement that the Nation retain 
the capacity to rebuild its forces should world events dictate. 

Deterrence, both nuclear and conventional, costs less than any 
level of conflict and will remain the cornerstone of United States 
defense policy. Nuclear deterrence will be required as long as any 
country possesses the capability to strike the United States or en- 
danger United States forces abroad with nuclear weapons. If 
deterrence should fail, strategic forces must be able to respond at 
the point of conflict. 

The forward presence of capable naval forces in close proximity 
to potential areas of world crisis remains a key element of United 
States security. In addition to contributing to deterrence, forward 
deployed naval forces strengthen our ties with allies and serve as a 
visible sign of United States commitment. These forces provide the 
nation with the capability to respond effectively to crises indepen- 
dent of overseas bases and access agreements. Routine forward de- 
ployments, logistic self-sufficiency, and ambiguity of intent make 
naval forces largely immune to the political constraints that could 
inhibit the employment of land based forces during times of crises. 

In the past, our fundamental security ties and activities have 
centered on countries with whom we have had formal alliances. 
Such alliances remain a strategic goal for the Nation. In the future, 
however, the character of our alliances may be substantially different. 
The coalition which the United States is leading in the Persian 
Gulf is perhaps more typical of future alliance structures. 

Simply maintaining the capability to keep the sea-lines of com- 
munication open to our allies and for resource movement is insuf- 
ficient to fully protect America's vital interests. The maintenance 
of stability also requires that we be able to influence events on 

Perspectives in Warfighting *" 

Marine Corps University 

land. In some cases, this can be done through a combination of 
forward deployed or forward based forces followed by the sequen- 
tial introduction of combat forces transported from the continental 
United States. For much of the globe, however, the Navy and Ma- 
rine Corps will remain the primary means of maintaining regional 
influence. Since most of the world's population lives within 50 
miles of the sea, our naval power projection capabilities are partic- 
ularly useful in deterring aggression or applying force at the appro- 
priate place and time. 

Existing naval forces provide a significant portion of the capa- 
bility needed for deterrence and crisis response in the present 
geostrategic environment. In the event that a global threat to na- 
tional security should arise, those same forces would provide the 
foundation for the reconstitution of a globally-capable fleet suffi- 
cient to deter or defeat any enemy threatening United States mari- 
time supremcy. Such a fleet takes a long time to build, even if 
many decommissioned vessels are available for reactivation. In 
addition, reactivated ships would be qualitatively inferior to the active 
fleet ships which would have responded initially to a global threat. 
Those constructed in response to a national mobilization, or built 
to replace ships lost during the initial stages of combat, would take 
significantly longer to complete than any other element of the 
reconstituted military force. Nevertheless, given the anticipated 
warning time, existing United States naval forces are adequate to 
provide the foundation for the reconstitution of a larger naval 
force in the event of a national emergency. 


The shift in focus of United States security efforts from the 
defense of NATO toward the more likely involvement in regional 
crises, highlights the continued importance of naval power projec- 
tion forces for crisis response. The core of this force is the strike ca- 
pability of aircraft carrier battle groups, amphibious task forces, 
and Marine Air-Ground Task Forces. These forces provide an im- 
portant forward presence in peacetime and an early surge capability 
to enable the introduction of follow-on forces. 

66 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


During the Cold War, keeping the sea-lines of communication 
open against a formidable Soviet submarine and air threat was of 
primary importance. Today the potential for global open-ocean at- 
tack has been reduced because regional adversaries are not as likely 
to acquire or concentrate sufficient naval forces for open-ocean 
operations. However, the need to ensure local control of the seas in 
the immediate operating area of our Naval Expeditionary Forces 
remains as vital as ever. 

Ensuring local sea control remains the essential prerequisite for 
successful power projection operations. In a regional crisis, these 
operations can be more complex and demanding than similar op- 
erations in the open ocean. 


United States naval forces must continue to exploit and develop 
force multipliers which have preserved our combat superiority 
over numerically superior forces. The application of advanced 
technologies as represented by the Aegis AAW system, TOMA- 
HAWK cruise missile, medium assault helicopter lift replacement, 
advanced amphibious assault vehicles, and air-cushioned landing 
craft (LCAC) will enhance arrogant usefulness in multiple scenari- 
os. Likewise, interoperability of C3I2 systems and the capability to 
exploit space-based resources enhances future joint and combined 


Each of the military services has unique capabilities which are 
the result of decades of organizational focus and institutional 
ethos. The sequencing of forces across the full spectrum of combat 
operations capitalizes on the inherent strengths of each service. 
The linkage between services has been formalized by involving 
component commanders in the planning, exercise, and contingency 
phases of operations and in the development of joint doctrine. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

The concept of joint force sequencing integrates complementary 
capabilities when forces must be introduced over several phases of 
a campaign. Naval forces are integral to this force sequencing con- 
cept. When employed in presence and stability operations, for- 
ward-deployed naval forces play a crucial role in any effort to deter 
a crisis or stabilize a volatile situation. These forces are inherently 
mobile and provide a range of options, particularly when em- 
ployed in combination with selected Army and Air Force units. 

In the event that no forward-deployed forces are on station when 
a crisis develops, forces must be shifted from other theaters or 
transported from CONUS by sealift or airlift. Deployed Navy and 
Marine forces provide a capability for prompt power projection, in 
concert with USAF tactical air and Army special forces if available 
in theater. 

Some responses will require the insertion of forces capable of 
forcible entry. In such cases, naval forces are able to launch both 
strikes and assaults in order to seize entry points to enable the in- 
troduction of follow-on forces. After securing access, land-based 
tactical air units and Army airborne forces can be introduced. 

In cases where unopposed access can be achieved, amphibious 
and air-based combat power can be concentrated rapidly to either 
terminate the conflict, or to set the stage for decisive action by ad- 
ditional joint follow-on forces. 

The power projection forces of the Navy and Marine Corps can 
pave the way for the introduction of heavy forces. For example, as 
the responsibility for expanding an operation is transferred from 
naval forces to Army combat forces and Air Force tactical air 
wings, the CINC has the option of reforming the Navy and Marine 
Corps forces into a regional reserve for use elsewhere within the 
same campaign, or holding them for other contingencies. 

This is the theory behind the joint force sequencing concept. The 
most recent international crisis, Operation Desert Shield, unfolded 
much as depicted here. 

68 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


From the onset of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, naval forces in 
the Persian Gulf region have been a major instrument for bringing 
pressure to bear on Iraq. The role of implementing U.N. economic 
sanctions has rested almost exclusively on naval forces. When the 
decision was made to move a large deterrent force into the region, 
aircraft carrier battlegroups steamed quickly into position from de- 
ployment hubs in the Western Pacific and Indian Ocean. For- 
ward-deployed naval forces, supplemented by Army airborne 
units, which had arrived by air to defend vital port and airhead 
facilities, formed the covering force for follow-on air and ground 
forces. Simultaneously, Marine units flew from Hawaii and Cali- 
fornia to link up with their equipment aboard Maritime Preposi- 
tioning Ships which had moved into the Persian Gulf. 

In this crisis, the forward deployment of CVBGs, and the rapid 
mobility of Maritime Prepositioning Ships gave the National 
Command Authorities a strong and unequivocal response to the 
Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. 


One factor which promises to have a significant effect on the 
shape of the future Navy and Marine Corps is the predictable re- 
duction in the size of United States military forces. In a world 
defense requirements are not driven by the need to respond to a 
monolithic global threat, the nation's defenses can be sized more 
closely to actual commitments and foreseeable instabilities in the 
world. While those commitments may not appear much different 
now than they have been for the last 45 years, the economic 
realities and priorities of the new world never-the-less require that 
the nation's naval forces decline in size. 

For the United States to continue to support its allies, protect its 
citizens and interests, and maintain its access to overseas markets, 
the naval forces must seek new ways of operating their forces. A 
new emphasis on flexibility and versatility will be required. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

One of the more significant results of the diminished Soviet threat 
is that naval forces cannot focus their efforts on operating in areas 
of traditional United States and Soviet confrontation, such as the 
Mediterranean, the Far East and the Indian Ocean. Naval expedi- 
tionary forces must operate globally in areas of U.S. interest. 

The level of presence required in a given region may vary de- 
pending on considerations such as economic interests, regional in- 
stability, and the strength of local allies. Concurrent with this new 
flexibility in operational requirements will come reductions in naval 
force levels. These reductions will dictate that naval commanders 
carefully consider how they deploy existing assets. The National 
Command Authorities must carefully weigh each reduction in naval 
capability to determine its implications upon local perceptions of 
United States commitment, influence and resolve. 


Reductions in Navy force levels will inevitably require that we 
change the way we deploy our ships and aircraft. At the same time, 
reductions in the number of overseas bases will place an increasing 
responsibility on the Navy and Marine Corps to maintain a for- 
ward United States presence. In the future, we will deploy naval 
forces in several ways. When the situation allows, smaller naval 
forces will be tailored for a specific mission and deployed outside 
of historical rotations or patterns. Naval forces will no longer be 
"tethered" to a specific region, as has been the case in the past. 
With a smaller number of deployable forces, ships will move be- 
tween theaters of operations depending upon the emerging re- 
quirements. Once in a region, naval forces may be dispersed to 
maximize their political impact, while maintaining the ability to 
quickly concentrate into a major force should a crisis arise. 

The Marine Corps has developed an array of improved deploy- 
ment and force closure packages known as Deterrence Force Mod- 
ules (DFMs) and Crisis Action Modules (CAMs). DFMs and 
CAMs allows the CINC to organize Marine Air-Ground Task 
Forces according to the capability he specifically requires, using 
the entire Fleet Marine Force structure as a reservoir combined in- 

70 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

tegrated arms of capability. The CINC can tailor the compositing 
of the desired MAGTF to his specific needs, employing any de- 
sired combination of the three deployment methods used by Ma- 
rines (Air Contingency Forces, Amphibious Forces, and Maritime 
Prepositioning Forces). This building-block approach provides 
the best utilization of mobility assets and available time. DFMs 
and CAMs provide the CINC with a flexible force option for use in 
both deliberate planning and crisis response to real-world events. 

Whatever the nature of our changing security environment, na- 
tional decision makers will continue to rely heavily on naval 
forces. Because of their proximity, endurance, and inherent defen- 
sive and offensive capabilities, naval forces will continue to be 
called early in a crisis. 


Technology is changing the face of naval warfare, and the Navy 
and Marine Corps are at the leading edge of this movement. De- 
velopments in precision guidance, satellite navigation, cruise mis- 
sile, advanced radars, stealth technologies, and worldwide commu- 
nications have been incorporated into the naval force structure 
and tactics. Since ships and aircraft often have lifetimes expanding 
30 years, adapting the best of these new technologies to proven 
concepts and platforms holds the most promise for meeting the 
challenges of an uncertain future. 


The most flexible elements of a balanced fleet, and the primary 
choice for projecting United States power and influence, are the car- 
rier battlegroup and amphibious task forces. These powerful units 
are composed of an aircraft carrier, amphibious ships, Marine Air- 
Ground Task Forces, several surface combatants, and one or more 
nuclear attack submarines. They are supported by combat logistic 
ships, land-based maritime patrol aircraft, and sophisticated 
spaced-based surveillance and communications systems. They can 
be ready on short notice to conduct full combat operations any- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 7i 

Marine Corps University 

where in the world. The composition of these forces can be tailored 
to the requirements of each contingency. 

The Fleet's force projection capability and flexibility expanded 
by Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (MAGTFs) are organized to 
respond to a specific mission, and have capabilities ranging from 
providing mobile training teams to conducting amphibious as- 
saults from over the horizon. Each MAGTF has a command ele- 
ment, a ground combat element, an air combat element, and a 
combat service support element, each of which is tailored to the 
specific mission. 

Using the flexibility inherent within the Marine Corps' force 
structure of three active (and one reserve) divisions, three active 
(and one reserve) air wings, and three active (and one reserve) 
force service support group ~ organized into Marine Expeditiona- 
ry Forces — MAGTFs of whatever size can be readily assimilated 
into larger, more capable MAGTFs. This process of "compositing" 
permits MAGTFs to deploy by various means and to rapidly or- 
ganize according to the capabilities required for the specific 
theater of operations. As MAGTFs are composited, they acquire 
the capabilities of the units they incorporate. 

The source for all Marine Corps task organizations is the Marine 
Expeditionary Force. The MEF not only deploys smaller MAGTFs, 
but is the operational task force for all contingency plans. The 
three active Marine Corps Expeditionary Forces provide global 
coverage for regional planning, and are the primary organizations 
for all Marine combat operations and peacetime preparedness. 


Forward presence is the key to stability operations. In peacetime, 
special task groups can be employed to promote stability and dem- 
onstrate continued resolve to protect vital United States and allied 
interests. Special task groups combine individual units, usually on 
a level below that of a carrier battlegroup or amphibious ready 
group. They permit rapid response to situations ranging from dis- 
aster relief to crisis intervention, and conserve resources by match- 

72 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

ing force requirements to the anticipated threat. When it serves na- 
tional policy, such task groups can be withdrawn unilaterally with- 
out the heavy political costs associated with the movement of land- 
based forces. 

While active forces are responsible for immediate peacetime 
presence and crisis response, reserve forces, the "Total Force," pro- 
vide backup for crises as well as a pool of trained individuals and 
units available in the event of a major conflict. Achieving a proper 
balance in the active/reserve mix will play an important part in 
maintaining overall force readiness. In the future, greater respon- 
sibilities will be shifted to the selected reserves, particularly in the 
areas of anti-submarine warfare, anti-drug operations, and mine 


Given the uncertainties of the future, it is imperative that the 
United States provide hedges against unforeseeable turns in the 
geopolitical climate, or changes in our potential adversaries' corre- 
lation of forces. Maintaining maritime superiority remains essen- 
tial to preserving American access and influence abroad. This re- 
quirement is a fundamental principle for a maritime nation like 
the United States. 

The United States has always relied on its technological edge to 
offset the need to match potential adversaries' strengths in numbers. 
Protecting the country's technological edge in vital defense in- 
dustries means continued investment in research and develop- 
ment, and ongoing enhancement of our industrial competitiveness. 

As President Bush has noted, the Nation's capacity to rebuild its 
forces is a strategic asset which cannot be allowed to decline in an 
era when active forces are at the minimum level needed to ensure 
peace and stability. Inseparably linked to America's technological 
edge is the preservation of its strategic industrial base, centered 
around critical capabilities such as aerospace design and subma- 
rine construction, and continued access to strategic materials and 
energy sources. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 7 -* 

Marine Corps University 

Finally, the most difficult challenge will be in sustaining the op- 
erational experience gained during the last 10 years. While certain 
material stocks can go into reserve, the same is not true of perishable 
warflghting skills, or of highly-trained personnel whose abilities 
are the foundation of United States combat capability. 


Geography makes the United States a maritime nation with in- 
terests inextricably linked to the sea. The foundation of national 
policy and its concomitant military strategy is maritime in nature. 

Emerging regional powers, the economic interdependence of the 
world market, and the growing dependence on scarce resources re- 
quires a focus upon traditional maritime nature of our nation. Our 
National foreign policy is no longer "containment" but "stability," 
i.e., pursing a policy which results in a stable and secure world, free 
of major threats of U.S. interest. In consonance with a new policy, 
National military strategy can no longer be viewed as two distinct 
but complementary strategies but rather a single integrated strate- 
gy—a strategy based upon the maritime nature of the United 
States and the future global focus of military efforts. An integrated 
maritime strategy is such a strategy. 

A maritime nation with global interests and responsibilities 
must have an expeditionary capability. Expeditionary forces are 
combined-arms forces tailored to accomplish a specific objective. 
They are uniquely trained, equipped, organized, and experienced 
in rapid deployment. Expeditionary forces have the capability for 
forcible entry. These forces must be able to function in an austere 
environment and possess a degree of self-sustainment 

Our naval expeditionary forces are capable of fulfilling a signifi- 
cant portion of our current and future defense requirements. They 
provide the National Command Authority and the unified com- 
manders with multiple options and they provide our Nation with a 
competitive advantage of unmatched utility. 

74 Perspectives in Warflghting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter II 

Regional Security and Forward 
Deployed Forces 

LtGen Bernard E. Trainor, USMC (Ret.) 



uring the years of the Cold War the United States 
maintained alliances and regional security arrangements on two 
levels. The principal one dealt with the Soviet Union. It had at its 
core the containment strategy, which worked so successfully to 
limit the spread of Moscow-dominated communism until that 
flawed system collapsed of its inherent contradictions. The North 
Atlantic Treaty Organization, Central Treaty Organization and 
Southeast Treaty Organization, the bilateral treaties with such na- 
tions as Japan and South Korea and special understandings with 
South Africa are examples of this level of American commitment. 

The second level of commitment was regionally oriented and, 
while it contributed to containment, its primary goal was to main- 
tain the status quo and the balance of power in volatile regions of 
the world. Formal and informal security arrangements with the 
Shah of Iran, Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East represent 
the most complex of these regional instruments. The Organization 
of American States, the Inter- American Defense Board, bilateral 
agreements with Mexico and Canada and special relationships 
with individual Latin nations were the most straightforward of alli- 
ances in this category. 

At both levels the traditionally isolationist United States took on 
weighty commitments to better protect its own national inter- 
ests and commonly shared interests with those with whom it had 
close cultural, moral, political or economic ties. The system of alli- 
ances and understandings woven in the post-war world were the 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

product of hard-headed analysis about what was good for the 
United States. Some, such as NATO, stood the test of time. Some 
like CENTO and SEATO did not. When a failure occurred, the 
United States sought alternate arrangements to pursue its goals. 
Support for ASEAN is an example of how the United States ad- 
justed to the failure of SEATO and its own defeat in Vietnam. 

With the demise of the Soviet Union and its empire, the need for 
the first level of alliances diminished, at least as an instrument of 
containment and mutual defense. But the downfall of the Soviets 
also destroyed the neat and predictable bipolar world that existed 
for almost half a century. It has been replaced by an uncertain arid 
unpredictable world, which is unipolar in the sense that the United 
States is dominant in raw military power; multipolar in that there 
now exists super-economic and political powers around the globe - 
Japan on the Pacific rim for one, United Germany and the European 
Economic Community for another. On the horizon, China prom- 
ises to be an additional member of the club. 

While the ashes of the Soviet Union will also give birth to another 
major power center, perhaps historic Russia, that is not likely to 
take place for years. 

The complicated tapestry of the redistribution and redefinition 
of world power is further complicated by the reemergence of re- 
gional disputes. They were previously held in check by the heavy 
hand of centralist communism and the bipolar confrontation be- 
tween the Soviet Union and the United States. These range from 
the ethnic disputes which are tearing apart Yugoslavia and some 
of the Soviet republics to inter-border disputes such as occasioned 
the Persian Gulf War. 

The world today has characteristics of the pre-World War I period 
and of the inter-war years. The big difference is that today, the 
United States is the major player on the international scene and 
not an isolated bystander as it was earlier in the century. 

As it adjusts to the dynamics of the new world, the United States' 
goals actually remain substantially unchanged. Simply stated they 

76 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

are to protect and advance the well-being of its people. If this could 
be done by retreating into isolation it Would do so. But only those 
with the narrowest of vision would endorse such a policy. This is 
true, not only in the economic sense, but in all areas of human af- 
fairs including the ecology. In addition, the United States has a 
special burden as the symbol of democracy. It must continue to 
foster the growth of democracy around the world, not only as a 
moral imperative, but from enlightened self-interest. History 
shows that wars do not take place between democratic nations. 
The United States simply cannot withdraw into isolationism with 
the excuse that domestic issues come first. The world has grown far 
too independent for that. 

An argument is made that the United States can serve the inter- 
ests of its people best by taking advantage of its unipolar power using 
that power unilaterally to create conditions favorable to itself. This 
too is a bromide that is doomed to have the opposite effect. It leads 
to arrogance of power, which will neither be tolerated by the Amer- 
ican people, nor by the international community, which would be 
certain to unify against the imposition of a self-centered form of 
Pax Americana. 

If the United States is to enhance the well-being of its people it 
must play a constructive role on the world scene by cooperating 
with current and potential friends and by deterring or preventing 
those who threaten that goal. Such a policy has worked well for us 
in the latter half of this century and promises to do so in the next. 
But the form this policy takes is bound to be different. 

For 40 years military might, alliances and forward deployed of 
forces have been the centerpieces of American security strategy. 
This has been at a cost to the quality of life at home. It was a price 
worth paying when the threat to the country was mortal. But there 
is no gainsaying that the price of freedom also contributed to those 
ills that currently plague American society; a huge deficit, a weak 
economy, poor health care, crime and a flawed educational sys- 
tem. The American people are not going to support the security 
centerpiece of military muscle, alliances and forward deployment 
in the future as they willingly did in the past. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 77 

Marine Corps University 

The public's focus in the future will be on building economic 
and social strength. Military strength and its commitments abroad 
will be downgraded. This trend can be seen already in myriad 
ways. The budget battles over defense spending on Capitol Hill 
and the challenges to the longevity of NATO are just the tip of the 
iceberg. The American people, proud as they are of their servicemen, 
retain their traditional suspicion of a large military establishment. 
They no longer perceive a need for it, at least in its current form, 
and will be quick to reduce it in the wake of the demise of the Soviet 
Union and the spectacular victory of American arms in the Per- 
sian Gulf. The conviction that uncontested victors can sheath their 
swords has been a hallmark of America. National indifference to 
the loss of overseas bases, such as Clark Field and the Subic naval 
base in the Philippines is also a manifestation of public willing- 
ness to retrench militarily. 


In light of the sea change that has taken place in the world over 
the past three years, regional arrangements so valuable in the past 
must be reassessed for their value. The United States must ensure 
unilateral freedom of action while selectively benefiting from alli- 
ances and security arrangements, including those under United 
Nations auspices. American interests abroad are political, eco- 
nomic and moral Each interest requires a different level of military 
involvement and form. 

On the political level this means American military might well 
be called upon to buttress friendly regimes, even if some of those 
regimes are not democratic in the accepted sense of the term. Not 
to do so can threaten regional stability and the balance of power. 
Support for Saudi Arabia is a case in point. 

On the economic level, the United States must make use of its 
military to ensure free and unfettered access to world markets and 
defend economic activities essential to its quality of life. Access to 
oil is the classic example in this regime. 

Morally the United States, as the sole superpower, must use its 

78 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

strength to lead other free nations to oppose aggression and ad- 
vance the principle of peaceful resolution of disputes and the pro- 
tection of human rights. American use of force in the defense of 
Kuwait in the Gulf War and the subsequent multi-national inter- 
vention in Iraqi Kurdistan symbolize American moral responsibility. 

Notwithstanding the principles embodied in the pursuit of these 
three categories of national interest, the United States cannot uni- 
laterally police the world. Neither can it, nor would it use its military 
arm in every instance to deal with events that are inimical to its po- 
litical, economic or moral interests. For one thing military forces 
remains the steel fist within the velvet glove of diplomacy and not 
the naked arbiter of disputes. For a second, a shrunken American 
military establishment will demand fewer commitments. 

It is essential, therefore, that the United States use force judi- 
ciously and, insofar as possible, in conjunction with others who 
share the same interests we do. 

In the face of an uncertain future, the world must be viewed 
through the lens of broad American interests if the military estab- 
lishment is to be responsive. What are the critical regional areas? 
Why are they critical? Where do they stand in a hierarchy of 
priorities? In which of the three categories are they critical, politi- 
cal, economic or moral? With those questions answered, we must 
assess whether international regional cooperative arrangements 
are possible with other nations while reserving the right of unilat- 
eral action. Finally, in the context of how maritime forces can con- 
tribute best to safeguarding and advancing those interests, how 
should sharply reduced naval forces be structured to ensure maxi- 
mum capability and utility? 


In conducting a tour de horizon of American regional interests, 
Europe obviously stands out as important and our interests there 
are an amalgam of political, economic and moral factors. But 
while Europe has been traditionally first in priority from a military 
standpoint during the Cold War, that importance has diminished 

Perspectives in Warfighting 79 

Marine Corps University 

with the passing of the Soviet threat. Increasingly Europeans are, 
and will, look to their own security. This is apparent in the Franco- 
German initiative to establish a European standing military force 
under the aegis of the Western European Union. While the United 
States should continue to foster the longevity of NATO, its long- 
term prospects are uncertain. It is in the interest of the United 
States to keep a foothold in Europe as part of an alliance to exer- 
cise an influence over European decision making. NATO also pro- 
vides an in-being multi-national military infrastructure and proc- 
ess that can be used as a model for other multi-national coalitions 
elsewhere. But from a military standpoint the role of the United 
States on the continent is bound to diminish. Naval forces tradi- 
tionally played a support role at sea in the alliance, but their utility 
is transferable to other oceans of the world. 

In the Far East, both northeast and southeast, our interests are 
primarily political and economic. The military focus in the region 
is primarily on North Korea. It is the only clear and present threat 
to our interests. Not only does it pose a continuing threat to South 
Korea, but most importantly, it is potentially a nuclear threat to 
Northeast Asia. 

Beyond North Korea, there is no active threat. But we cannot 
overlook the potential capabilities of Japan and China. The 
smaller nations of the region have historical reasons to fear them. 
If Japan ever rearmed, all of Asia would look to the United States 
as a counter-force. Despite economic differences with Japan, 
which are apt to grow, maintaining close formal ties and commit- 
ments to Japan including the current defense commitment are in 
America's best interest. The commitments allow us some political 
and economic leverage and provide some assurance against a re- 
birth of Japanese militancy. If the United States turned its military 
back on the far Pacific an uneasy vacuum would develop; one that 
would not be filled to our liking. 

Continued American military presence in the region is essential 
to stability and while that stability is bought at cost to the United 
States and at little cost to the nations of the region, it is a sound in- 
vestment given our political and economic interests in the Far 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

East. Given that, naval forces provide the most economical and 
politically acceptable form of continued American presence in the 
region. They are non-intrusive, yet visible, flexible and mobile. 
Furthermore the two giants of the region, Japan and China are far 
more comfortable with a naval military-to-military relationship 
with the United States than they are with ground or air forces. 

American interests in our own hemisphere have always taken a 
low priority. Our relations with Canada are taken for granted by 
both countries and both are formally allied within the framework 
by both countries and both are formally allied within the frame- 
work of the NATO alliance. Mexico has always been distinguished 
from the rest of Latin America because it is contiguous to the United 
States. But the relationship is primarily economic and other than 
problem areas, such as immigration and the narcotics traffic, there 
has been little reason in recent years to elevate Mexico on the scale 
of national security interests. Past fears of the spread of commu- 
nism in Mexico were groundless and are now non-existent. 

Central America was only important to the United States when 
the Panama Canal was valuable, but the Canal has lost its military 
and commercial significance. As for the remainder of the region, it 
never was critical to our well-being although successive adminis- 
trations insisted on elevating its importance because of the per- 
ceived dangers of communism in the hemisphere. At the present 
and for the foreseeable future, there is only a moral imperative for 
the United States to help the Central American republics along the 
path of democratic reform. 

The same may be said of the remainder of Latin America. Both 
j North and South America have long established ground rules for 
1 their inter-relationship that have proven satisfactory. These in- 
clude formal relations under the Rio treaty. The status quo best 
serves the interest of both north and south during this time of tran- 
sition. None of our political, economic and moral interests in Latin 
America have been modified significantly by the changes resulting 
from the end of the Cold War and attendant events. Even the prob- 
lem of cocaine trafficking in the Andean region is amenable to coop- 
erative initiatives within the framework of existing relationships. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 81 

Marine Corps University 

Militarily the main function of the United States is to provide 
training, support and a model for Latin armed forces. As the army 
is the dominant service throughout Latin America, it follows that 
the U.S. Army should remain the principle vehicle for our military- 
to-military relations south of the border. 

In the Caribbean, only Fidel Castro's Cuba remains a problem 
for the United States, but it is more an irritant than a problem. 
Cuba is isolated and in economic ruins. Castro has lost his stand- 
ing as a third- world leader and his brand of communism no longer 
serves as a model for other developing nations. The country is in 
decay and while still militarily strong, Cuba poses no active threat 
to the region. 

South Asia is of interest to the United States on a political level 
because it contains the world's largest democracy, India. But it is a 
volatile nation with a nuclear capability. Its antagonists are China 
and Pakistan, one with nuclear weapons, the other suspected to 
have them and fully capable of fielding them if they do not. The 
triangle of conflict centers on territorial disputes with the Kashmir 
issue between India and Pakistan being the most dangerous. Both 
sides have postured for war frequently in recent years. With the Af- 
ghanistan war on the back burner, Pakistan is now in a better posi- 
tion to harden its position vis a vis India. It is not in the interest of 
the United States to become militarily involved in an India-Pak 
dispute, but any conflict between the two is bound to have interna- 
tional repercussions of an unpredictable nature. This is particular- 
ly true if nuclear weapons are used or threaten to be used. 

The region lowest in the hierarchy of American interests is Africa 
south of the Sahara. As a non-colonial nation we have no signifi- 
cant political, economic or moral ties with southern Africa. What 
interests we did have in the recent past were tied to the Cold War. 
Thus, we established close ties with South Africa as guardian of 
the Cape sea lanes. Also our support for President Se-se Se-ko 
Mobutu of Zaire and Jonas Savimbi in Angola were associated 
with our competition with the Soviets and Cubans in that part of 
Africa. That is a thing of the past. Africa is in the process of strug- 
gling with its own identity. It is no longer even a minor player in 


Into the 21st Century 

First and Second world politics. Other than a tepid interest in fos- 
tering democratic institutions, equal rights, humanitarianism and 
increased trade, southern Africa is in no way critical to American 
interests. The level of these interests do not warrant guarantees 
with military implications. 

Notwithstanding the presence of an amphibious task force off 
Liberia for six months, the United States wisely limited itself to 
protecting its nationals and left it to a coalition of African nations 
to intervene in the fratricidal conflict. 

This leaves the Maghreb and the Middle East from the Persian 
Gulf to the Mediterranean as an area of United States interest. 
Despite the wide variation in any sub region of the Middle East, the 
entire region must be considered as one because of its religious, 
cultural and political interrelationships. 

If there is one area of the world where the United States has critical 
interests in all categories, it is the Middle East. It has moral com- 
mitments to Israel and the Gulf states. It has enormous economic 
interest in the region and from these flow major political interests. 

There is no doubt that the Middle East is the most dangerous re- 
gion of the world. The balance-of-power struggle brought on with 
the downfall of the Shah of Iran has not yet been resolved. Indeed 
it has been exacerbated by the Gulf War. An unchastened Saddam 
Hussein remains in power in Iraq, still seeking a nuclear capability. 
While the Persian Gulf War exploded the myth of Arab solidarity, 
there are those, particularly Saddam Hussein who still seek it. Iran 
seeks to join the nuclear club as the major player in the region. Is- 
lamic fundamentalism also poses potential problems from the 
Arab Maghreb to Persian Iran and even the Islamic populated Soviet 

Syria seeks leadership of the Arab world and remains dangerous 
under the canny leadership of Hafiz al Assad who still views Israel 
as a mortal enemy. The Arab world, despite the recently concluded 
Mid-East conference still views Israel as a cancer. Add to this the 
Golan Heights, Palestinian issues and Israel's siege mentality and 

Perspectives in Warfighting 83 

Marine Corps University 

the mixture is as volatile as ever. The quixotic Mu'ammar al 
Qaddafi of Libya remains not only anti-Israeli, but anti-United 
States and an active troublemaker along the Mediterranean littoral. 
On top of all this is the west's growing dependence upon Mid-Eastern 

Given these factors, the future American military posture must 
provide for the distinct possibility of armed intervention in the region. 


If it is true that the United States is unwilling, and indeed unable, to 
be the policeman of the world, it nonetheless cannot abrogate its 
international responsibilities as the sole superpower and leader of 
the free world. At the very least it has to be the sheriff who puts to- 
gether and leads the posse against international malefactors. But it 
must do this in a way that the nation is not tied into security ar- 
rangements that will automatically draw us into conflict we wish to 

There is little the United States can do, or need to do, about mul- 
tilateral and bilateral alliances and understandings that already 
exist - NATO, being the prime example. But these existing arrange- 
ments can be reviewed and tempered by developments flowing 
from the end of the Cold War. For example, the United States' 
commitment to Israel's survival is absolute. But Israel no longer 
has the strategic importance it once had in the context of the East- 
West confrontation. This reduction in Israel's importance to the 
United States increases the United States' importance to Israel and 
provides additional leverage when dealing with the Israelis on 
Mid-East issues. 

The demise of the Soviet threat also changes our security rela- 
tionship with Japan. This must be taken into account in assessing 
our policy towards Japanese defense needs. 

As the new world order emerges, the United States should main- 
tain maximum freedom of action while fostering those coalitions, 

84 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

which will be useful in dealing with those regional crises that bear 
on our important interests. 

The United Nations provides the ideal overall coalition vehicle. 
The Administration made skillful use of it during the Persian Gulf 
War. As a permanent member of the Security Council, the United 
States is able to exercise significant influence over UN members. 
This change is becoming increasingly more apparent as the anti- 
western post-colonial leadership of the Third World matures and 
moves in a more democratic direction. The United States accrued 
considerable prestige for its political acumen and military leader- 
ship in the struggle against Iraq and it is now in a position to capi- 
talize on that prestige. 

But prestige is a perishable commodity. To capitalize on it, it be- 
hooves the Administration to explore the opportunities of a more 
formal UN intervention force. This can be done by breathing life 
into the Security Council's moribund Military Staff Committee. 
The same may be said of Article 42, of the UN Charter, which 
makes provisions for a peace enforcement force of the sort authorized 
solely by resolution in the Gulf War. (As distinct from peacekeeping 

But as long as a permanent member of the Council such as China, 
has veto power, the UN is not sufficient to ensure collective action 
where it is needed against an outlaw state. Again this means that 
the United States must selectively develop regional security coalition 
outside the UN to deal with possible military threats to its important 

For the foreseeable future Northeast Asia and the Middle East 
are the two most dangerous regions of the world relative to American 
interests. It follows that we should lay the groundwork for coalition 
cooperation in both those regions. In Asia this means cobbling un- 
derstandings aimed at deterring or dealing with a nuclear armed 
North Vietnam. Perforce this includes Japan, China and the Russian 

In the Middle East, the United States has an opportunity to 

Perspectives in Warfighting 85 

Marine Corps University 

strengthen a coalition of Gulf states and those nations dependent 
upon its oil. This includes Germany and Japan. 

With regard to Israel, it is unlikely that the United States can struc- 
ture a coalition to guarantee Israel's existence, but it can foster in- 
ternational understanding towards unilateral American action in 
the unlikely event Israel is seriously threatened. 

In the absence of serious threats to American interests elsewhere 
in the world, and a concomitant reduction in the armed forces the 
United States must be cautious in undertaking additional specific 
or implied regional obligations. 

The implications of the geopolitical changes in the world for naval 
forces are significant. With the end of the ideological and power 
struggle with the Soviet Union, the military focus has become re- 
gional rather than global. The United States no longer has to be 
prepared to checkmate communism around the globe. The shrinking 
size of the military attests to Congressional and public realization 
of that fact. Ironically enough, for the first time in decades the 
capabilities of the military may actually match requirements. They 
will be geared to deal with fewer, yet critical, areas of the world. 

Smaller active military forces require an ordering of regional 
priorities to ensure that areas of critical interests are covered. For 
the current and foreseeable future this means the Middle East and 
northeastern Asia. 

Lesser important areas cannot be ignored, but there is no reason 
to try to cover them with the reduced number of forces that will exist 
in the coming years. To do so would be self-defeating. It would di- 
lute capabilities to such a degree as to make them ineffective every- 
where. However, crises frequently occur in the least expected place 
and time and take on lives of their own. Therefore, the United 
States must structure and dispose its forces in such a way that it 
maintains sufficient capacity to deal with unforeseen crises with- 
out unduly degrading its ability to act in regions of primary interest. 
The infantry analog of "two up, one back" is as applicable to strategy 
as it is to tactics. 

86 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

The draw down of air and land forces abroad makes naval 
forces increasingly more important in a regional context. Naval 
forces constitute a principal means of projecting sustained power. 
Further, the high technology threat to them as represented by the So- 
viet Union does not exist to a comparable degree on the regional 
level. This increases the relative power of naval forces. But the 
Navy's traditional pattern of operations and priority of interests 
must conform to the new realities. 

The western Pacific remains critically important from a 
geopolitical standpoint but also as a theater for war fighting in the 
event of an ill-considered move on the part of North Korea. 

The far Pacific also constitutes our line of communication to the 
Indian subcontinent and most importantly to the North Arabian, 
Red Seas and the Persian Gulf. While there is no threat to these 
lifelines at present, they would represent a vulnerability for operations 
in Southwest Asia if they were to be ignored. 

The waters of Southwest Asia must remain the domain of the 
American Navy. Twice in less than five years, naval forces have 
fought in the region because it was vital to our national interests. 
The United States must be prepared to intervene decisively in the 
Persian Gulf, whatever force structure emerges from the current 
draw down. 

The naval companion to the North Arabian Sea is the Mediter- 
ranean Sea. It too is critical in safeguarding our national interests 
in the Maghreb and the Middle East. The African shore of the 
Mediterranean has seen naval forces in action more than any 
place else in the world in the years following the Second World 
War. The argument for United States presence off its troubled 
shores though different now, is no less strong now than it was 
when the 6th Fleet was initially established. 


The emerging regional orientation of the U.S. military requires a 
mental readjustment of the Navy. Navy officers and the Navy's 

Perspectives in Warfighting 87 

Marine Corps University 

professional education system must redirect their thinking away 
from deep blue water and more towards shallow and brown >vater 
operations; frequently in concert with local navies. 

Carrier battle groups designed to control the high seas and carry 
the battle to the Soviet homeland in both Europe and Asia soon 
will be no longer necessary. A major effort at sea control will like- 
wise no longer be warranted. Other than the Soviet Union there 
never was a power, nor is there likely to be one, capable of chal- 
lenging the United States in that regime. In addition to showing 
the flag in presence missions, battle groups form the backbone of 
naval projection forces in regional conflict. This requires greater 
Navy attention to integration of battle groups with amphibious 
task forces. 

The same may be said for undersea warfare, both submarine 
and anti-submarine. Making allowances for a minimally acceptable 
number of attack and nuclear missile submarines, submarine op- 
erations and their counter should be geared to the nature of re- 
gional undersea threats. This means shallower water operations 
and dealing with extremely quiet foreign submarines designed to 
operate in a coastal environment. 

Amphibious and mine countermeasure forces are relatively un- 
affected by the reorientation occasioned by the collapse of com- 
munism. These forces have always been oriented more towards 
likely Third World contingencies than they were towards global 
war with the Soviet Union. 

Both the Navy and the Marines have traditionally trained and 
worked with foreign forces. The relative ease with which coalition 
forces integrated the efforts of many countries in establishing the 
embargo against Iraq is illustrative of this capability. As coalition 
warfare is both politically and military desirable in dealing with 
future regional crises, the naval forces are well positioned to capi- 
talize on existing integrating techniques and processes. Passing ex- 
ercises with friendly warships have the advantage of enhancing in- 
ternational cooperation at sea without implying any commitments. 

88 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


Desert Shield and Desert Storm provided important lessons on 
how smaller Navy and Marine forces can operate more effectively 
in the future. In the Gulf War the United States offset Iraqi superi- 
ority with technology to achieve a quick and relatively cost-free 
victory. The high technology approach should be pursued, even at 
the cost to some more conventional capabilities. 

The United States defeated the Iraqis by integrating its technical 
systems. It was a "system of systems," which rendered the Iraqis 
deaf, dumb and blind, located their critical nodes and delivered 
accurate and devastating firepower against them. For all their 
strength, the Iraqis were helpless to prevent their own systematic 

Satellites, reconnaissance aircraft, remotely piloted vehicles, elec- 
tronic and signal intelligence provided American and coalition 
forces unparalleled information about the Iraqis, while counter- 
measures denied him information on the allies. Thanks to data 
linking, much of our data was distributed to users in real time. 

AWACs, E2Cs and JSTARS provided an unprecedented air and 
ground picture on the theater level, which TARPS, RPVs and 
FLIR equipped aircraft and helicopters did the same for opera- 
tional units. These along with PLRS and GPS gave the allies un- 
precedented "situation awareness." Thermal sights and night vi- 
sion equipment gave United States forces and its allies mastery of 
the night. 

High technology helped acquire targets and precision guided 
munitions destroyed the difficult ones. The litany of achievements 
due to the American technological edge is almost endless. And yet 
the equipment used for the most part is almost a generation old. 
Only the Tomahawk with its fire and forget capability represents 
the on-coming generation of sophisticated systems. 

Insofar as possible, the Gulf War should be a model for all re- 
gional wars, i.e., let systems do the fighting. This not only makes 

Perspectives in Warfighting 89 

Marine Corps University 

sense in achieving the goals of an operation it minimizes 
casualties, that great inhibitor of American public support for mili- 
tary action in a crisis. 

Whether the United States in the defense of its regional interests 
is faced with a sophisticated enemy, as was the case with the Iraqis 
or a more primitive opponent, the odds are that the enemy will out- 
number our projection forces. He will also have the home field ad- 
vantage. To offset these advantages intelligence is key to the effec- 
tive use of forces available to us. It does not make any difference 
whether the environment be desert, mountain, jungle or urban, op- 
erational intelligence is a sine qua non for effectiveness. 

Following intelligence, both in importance and sequencing, are 
target acquisition and target preparation systems. Technology 
should be used to ferret out the enemy and neutralize his ability to 
defend himself. The target can then be destroyed by a variety of 
weapons combinations. 

It makes no sense to try to match the Third World with infantry. 
It will always have more of them at a cheaper price. In today's 
world there is no greater tribute to the rifleman on the ground than 
to present him a battlefield that he can walk over rather than fight 
over. Technology can do that for him. 

To translate this presumption into a maximum capability at an 
acceptable cost requires tradeoffs in investment as well as in or- 
ganization and doctrine. In organizing for combat, the Navy - Marine 
Corps team must add the Air Force to the roster if it wants to bene- 
fit from the synergism that existing and projected technology provides. 

The Air Force can provide another dimension to the fleets' sea 
based force projection capabilities, but only if all three Services 
think about it, work at it in peacetime and make it happen in war 

The stories of lack of Navy interoperability with the other Services 
in the Gulf War are legion. They will be legion in the next regional 
conflict unless the Navy disabuses itself of its high seas mentality. 

90 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

A systems architecture must be designed by the three Services (and 
those expeditionary units of the Army) to integrate their capa- 
bilities. It should provide a theater commander an in-being expe- 
ditionary "system of system" at the outset of a regional crisis. He 
should not have to wait almost six months for an imperfect jury- 
rigged one as he did in the Gulf War. 

Given the importance of intelligence and situation awareness, 
all systems that can be expeditionally configured to support those 
requirements should be brought into harness. Battle groups and 
amphibious task forces at sea should be linked, real time, not only 
to national systems but to systems like AWACS and JSTARS. Op- 
erational planning for naval forces should routinely take Air Force 
capabilities into account and integrate them as a matter of course 
in battle planning. Planning itself should take an all systems ap- 
proach rather than a Service peculiar one. 

In addition to designing a battle systems architecture, the Navy, 
Marine Corps and Air Force will have to experiment and train 
with organizational concepts for best use in a sea based force pro- 
jection role. 

Much has been made of "jointness" in recent years. Unfortunately it 
has become an end in itself, with concurrent resistance, particularly 
by the naval services which frequently believe the balanced fleet is 
all the jointness necessary for most regional crisis. True jointness 
does not mean four Services involvement, nor does it mean a form 
of command and control. It means bringing the right forces to bear 
to a given mission at given time. In that sense the naval services 
should organize, train and equip its forward deployed to make 
maximum use of national power, not just naval power, to protect 
American interest in the critical corners of the world. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 91 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter III 

Global Strategy and Forward 

Deployed Forces: 

Regional Contingency Planning 

In The Post Cold War Era 

Dr. Jacquelyn K. Davis 


the last two years, the global security setting has been 
fundamentally transformed, giving rise to a "new world order" in 
which specifically defined threats to U.S. national interests are not 
readily perceived and public expectations of a 'peace dividend" 
are eroding support for overseas deployments of American troops. 
With the return to Soviet territory of substantial numbers of Soviet 
Warsaw Pact forces, Moscow's withdrawal from Afghanistan and 
troop reductions along the Sino-Soviet border, the threat of attack 
with minimal warning in Europe — which had underpinned U.S. 
global strategy and force posture since the formation of NATO ~ 
has dissipated, providing the basis for revising the nature, and de- 
ployment modalities, of our forward presence. Instead of reliance 
on a large-scale forward deployed force structure, logistical net- 
work and troop presence, as was the case in NATO-Europe and on 
the Korean Peninsula for the past forty years, U.S. forward pres- 
ence in the post-Cold War era is most likely to be based on greatly 
reduced troop levels in regions important to U.S. national security. 
Some project a level as low as 75,000 to 100,000 personnel (approxi- 
mately the size of a corps) in-theater in Europe in five years' time ~ 
and more restrictive access to bases, infrastructure facilities, and 
overflight rights both in Europe and elsewhere. 

Against this backdrop, President Bush promulgated in August 
1990, at the time of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, a new global strategy 

Perspectives in Warfighting 93 

Marine Corps University 

governing U.S. force structure and particularly its overseas force de- 
ployments. Formulated around the three basic concepts of: force 
reconstitution (or greater reliance on "round-out" units and the mo- 
bilization of active forces to attain full readiness levels); discriminate 
engagement (or selective intervention in a crisis situation); and coali- 
tion-building (or the development of ad hoc "alliances" for a specific 
contingency operation), the Bush proposals sought to define forward 
presence less in terms of formalized Alliance structures and massive 
overseas deployments and more in terms of pragmatic planning for 
specific contingency situations. In other words, in the future the U.S. 
forward presence is to be based on movement away from the bipolar 
confrontation of the "Cold War" years and toward a strategic setting 
in which, "the size of our forces will increasingly be shaped by the 
needs of regional contingencies and peacetime presence." ] In his 
Aspen speech entitled, "Reshaping Our Forces," President Bush went 
on to say that, "our new strategy must provide the framework to guide 
our deliberate reductions to no more than the forces we need to guard 
our enduring interests - the forces to exercise forward presence in key 
areas, to respond effectively to crisis, to retain the national capacity to 
rebuild our forces should this be needed." 2 As part of what the Presi- 
dent termed this new policy of "peaceful engagement," forward pres- 
ence emerges as central to the ability of the United States to retain 
"important American interests in Europe and the Pacific, in the Med- 
iterranean and in the Persian Gulf." 3 

Thus, even before Desert Shield/Desert Storm, the reduced risk of war 
in Europe has contributed to a rethinking of U.S. military strategy, to 
include a fundamental reassessment of the nature and importance of 
extended deterrence and forward based forces. The new U.S. global 
strategy that is emerging is one centered on the Base Force concept or- 
ganized around four major command groupings (i.e., strategic, At- 
lantic, Pacific and a Contingency Command based in CONUS). 

1 Remarks by President Bush to the Aspin Institute Symposium, The Aspin Institute, As- 
pen, Colorado, August 2, 1990, p. 2. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid. 

94 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Three of the four major commands in the new structure will rely 
on the continued basing in key theaters of U.S. forces or, failing 
that, forces that could be inserted in a timely fashion into conflict- 
prone regions or theaters of crisis or conflict. In the case of the 
CONUS-based Contingency Command, force deployments would 
rely heavily on "cadre divisions and "surge" forces and would de- 
pend on some type of pre-existing "forward presence" to provide a 
"graduated deterrence response" prior to their arrival in theater. In 
those areas where forward based forces are not an option, the U.S. 
dependence on a self-sustaining, flexible entry capability which 
can be sized to meet specific contingency requirements will be key 
to the ability of the United States to respond to crises or protect 
U.S. interests. In both instances this suggests a greater reliance on 
the combined assets of the Marine Corps and the Navy, particularly 
in light of their integrated air-ground and maritime capabilities. 
Together, this "combined arms" force, with its expeditionary na- 
ture, is uniquely configured to protect U.S. interests abroad and 
therein to provide the basis for a "forward presence." 

As force planners contemplate future force structure sizing and 
U.S. global security interests, the capacity for deterrence of conflict 
in theaters of vital interest to the United States, together with the 
capability to project power from CONUS during a specific contin- 
gency situation either for the purpose of compellance or for the 
defense of specific interests, including the requirement to re-estab- 
lish a stable regional "strategic" balance, will continue to set the 
parameters by which the Joint Staff and the Services develop their 
operational concepts and define their force acquisition priorities. 
As in the immediate past, the twin tasks of preserving stability in 
regional theaters of importance to the United States and the capacity 
to forestall the rise of regional hegemonies which could prove to be 
destabilizing remain key to U.S. national security objectives. How- 
ever, with the end of the Cold War, it may be more difficult to gen- 
even more difficult to sustain that support once an operation in- 
volves the actual employment of American forces, 
the actual employment of American forces. 

While it is arguable, for example, to suggest that Iraq's invasion 
of Kuwait or the conflict in Yugoslavia would not have occurred if 

Perspectives in Warfighting 95 

Marine Corps University 

the Soviet Union had retained its global political and strategic-mil- 
itary reach; it is certainly true that the changes that have taken 
place in the Union of Soviet States (U.S.S.) have eliminated Mos- 
cow as a major actor in several future potential regional scenarios. 
On the one hand, this makes it easier, in theory, for the United 
States to intervene if need be in regional theaters, based on a di- 
minished threat of crisis escalation or the prospect of a global war 
in which a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union was perceived 
to be a real (if not likely) option. On the other hand, however, the 
capacity of the United States to intervene in a regional theater, in 
the absence of a clearly perceived U.S. national interest and with- 
out reference to a specific threat, such as the former Soviet Union 
which could affect directly U.S. interests, may create a situation in 
which public (and Congressional) support for the deployment of 
American forces from CONUS to a crisis region may undermine 
the ability of an American President to signal U.S. interest in crisis 
or conflict resolution. 

At the same time, however, if the United States fails to make ex- 
plicit, its interests in a certain regional theater, either as a result of 
the draw-down, its regional force presence or its inability to attract 
Congressional support for a major overseas deployment (a la Desert 
Shield), "adversaries have been more inclined to resort to action, 
often of an openly military nature." 4 Thus, as the United States 
moves to redefine its global role and interests as we approach the 
new century, key questions relating to extended deterrence and re- 
gional stability remain to be resolved, especially if the future basing of 
American troops overseas is in doubt. Specifically in question is 
the credibility of U.S. extended deterrence guarantees in certain, 
key theaters - such as Northeast Asia ~ where potential 
adversaires or renegade powers may possess nuclear or chemical/ 
biological weapons. The dilemma facing U.S. policymakers arises 
in part as a consequence of President Bush's September 27, 1991 
speech in which he announced the elmination from U.S. force pos- 
ture of most organic SNF assets. But it also can be attributed to a 

4 Kevin Lewis, "Reorganizing U.S. Defense Planning to deal with new contingencies," 
p. 6799 (The RAND Corporation: Santa Monica, California, 1984), pp. 17-18. 

96 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

lack of advanced, mobile "defensive" ATM and other theater/tacti- 
cal missile defenses ~ an important and an emerging requirement 
certainly for expeditionary forces, as well as for other power/pro- 
jection-rapid reaction capabilities. One of the more positive devel- 
opments in force structure planning is the (relatively) recent partic- 
ipation by the U.S. Navy in the Army and SDIO's respective 
theater defense programs. Of course for the U.S. Navy, their prima- 
ry objective is fleet air defense, whereas for the Marines the major 
concern would necessarily be troop protection, especially for ini- 
tial assault elements. This suggests the need for both a low-altitude 
search (radar) capability, as well as for a "look-up" capability to 
counter aircraft (fixed-wing and rotary wing) platforms. It also is 
evidence that in the future, expeditionary forces will need to have 
access to a dedicated ATM/ATBM capability, similar perhaps to 
the USA CORP SAM in terms of characteristics. In other words, 
the synergism and interoperability between offensive and defen- 
sive systems will assume greater importance in the emerging strate- 
gic environment largely due to the proliferation in the Third World 
of ballistic missile and other weapons technologies. In this sense, 
any attempts to project power in key regional theaters will rely 
heavily on the availability of advanced defensive systems, opti- 
mally they will be organic to expeditionary and other forward de- 
ployed forces. 

With the Base Force concept, characterized by a significant re- 
duction in U.S. forces deployed overseas — in part due to a con- 
scious decision on the part of the American government to cut 
overseas force levels, but also because of the growing sentiment in 
Allied countries against the continued forward deployment of 
American (and other foreign) forces on national territory — it is 
likewise increasingly apparent that in the future, U.S. theater con- 
tingency planning and forward presence will depend to an unprec- 
edented extent on the ability to tailor forces for joint operation 
based on inputs from the individual Service components. This 
emerging tendency will impose an even greater premium on the ef- 
ficacy of c jointness" as well as on interoperability between and 
among the U.S. Services. At the same time, however, among the 
"lessons" that have emerged from the Desert Storm operation is 
the clear operational requirement for coalition planning, both as a 

Perspectives in Warfighting 97 

Marine Corps University 

means of effecting political support for a crisis deployment and 
wartime operations, but also to "fill-in" for force posture 
deficiencies — deficiencies that are only likely to increase in com- 
ing years as defense spending declines and force structure is re- 

It is clear that forward presence will underpin future diplomatic 
and security initiatives just as in the past forward based forces did 
in the context of U.S.-Alliance planning. But in the security envi- 
ronment of the future, "alliance" frameworks will be qualitatively 
different than the alliances which emerged in the context of the 
East-West bipolar confrontation during the Cold War years. Then 
when there was a clearly perceived enemy (or enemies) there was 
relatively little difficulty in attracting public support for the for- 
ward basing of U.S. troops. But in the context of this uncertain 
strategic environment and the fast-paced changes that are occur- 
ring almost on a daily basis, there is widespread questioning of the 
need for such tight Alliance frameworks, including the specific 
commitment of military forces. There is a growing tendency both 
overseas and in the U.S. to suggest that force structure be suffi- 
ciently flexible to handle all contingencies — from counter drug 
operations to full-scale warfare — by using non-dedicated forces. 
Such thinking reflects great uncertainty about the future direction 
for even the most established Alliance settings, including NATO. 
This has led to a budding interest in mission rationalization and 
greater force structure complementarity, with some nations even 
willing to eliminate from their structure forces for missions which 
they no longer can adequately perform - as in the case of air 
defense in Belgium. This type of "new thinking" suggests that 
changed command arrangements are likely to emerge, reflecting 
less the primacy of military power (relatively speaking) of the Unit- 
ed States and more the changing complexity of relationships be- 
tween the U.S. and its "former" Alliance partners. Conceptually 
this likely will lead to the development by the United States of a 
series of internetted bilateral arrangements and looser multilateral 
frameworks in which the key to future "Alliance" relationships will 
reside in operational flexibility, especially in terms of crisis deploy- 
ments, and new formulas for "burden-sharing." 

98 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

If Desert Shield/Storm revolutionized thinking about coalition 
building and "Alliance" interoperability, it also established new 
ground rules about the deployment of intervention forces in a 
theater where the United States had no formal alliance infrastruc- 
ture upon which to host and sustain the introduction and deploy- 
ment of U.S. (and other Allied) forces. Paradoxically, over the next 
decade U.S. policymakers are likely to be faced with the need to 
contemplate the possible deployment of U.S. forces to regional 
theaters where the United States has not, in the past, routinely de- 
ployed forces. Whether under U.N. auspices as part of a national- 
bilateral or a multilateral action (which in any case would depend 
heavily on U.S. force capabilities, such as airlift and intelligence 
assets), or as a unilateral U.S. activity (in direct support of a region- 
al ally or friend), the United States will need to have access to 
mobilizable, rapidly deployable, easily transportable forces which 
are self-sustainable (in terms of logistics requirements), highly 
survivable and flexible (in terms of employment options). They 
must also be capable of performing effectively in diverse environ- 
ments and amidst adverse climatic conditions. In the future in the 
Midddle East, at least, the United States is attempting to develop 
and formalize a "coalition" arrangement in which U.S. POMCUS 
and/or a residual force presence may be permanently based in the 
region. Clearly, however, this will fall short of establishment of a 
new Middle East Treaty Organization whose prospects are 
dimmed by the internecine politics of the region which today are 
hopelessly tied up with the evolution of the Arab-Israeli peace proc- 
ess. In the context of U.S. global strategy this raises an interesting 
dilemma: should the U.S. Government place priority on respond- 
ing to Saudi demands for help with the modernization of its force 
structure at the risk of alienating its long-time ally, Israel; or, 
should the United States place a lesser priority on the establish- 
ment of a permanent basing infrastructure in the region to satisfy 
Israeli concerns over U.S. technology transfers to the Arab world. 
These are difficult questions which will shape the parameters of 
the American debate over force structure and how the U.S. main- 
tains in the future a "forward presence" in this crucially important 

If, in coming years, the United States will have diminished ac- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 99 

Marine Corps University 

cess to forward-based support and infrastructure facilities and 
capabilities, how will its crisis response and sustainability require- 
ments be met? This key question must be answered in the context 
of planning for the 21st century in which neither the two and one 
half wars concept nor the one and one half planning construct 
may have relevance to future contingency planning. In the past, 
the emphasis of planners was on the major war scenario and force 
posture was optimized according to the possibility of global war 
involving the participation of the Soviet Union in an adversarial 
role. Lesser contingencies were assumed to be "half war" case in 
which planning was predicated upon the utilization of capabilities 
which were optimized for fighting a major war. In the future, while 
the threat of a major war involving the former Soviet Union re- 
mains a possibility, it must at best be considered a remote likeli- 
hood, at least in the near term when the Republics of the former 
Soviet Union are focused inward and their military forces are be- 
ing brought back to within the borders of the Union territory. Still, 
it behooves us to recognize that by itself the Russian Republic sup- 
ports an extensive military establishment and if its leadership were 
to adopt an adversarial stance against the West or the other Re- 
publics then it would be prudent for both the U.S. and its tradition- 
al Western allies to be prepared for that contingency both in terms 
of diplomatic-political activity and with regard to deterrence and 
crisis management capabilities. Still it is more likely in coming 
years that U.S. military planners will be faced with the need to de- 
velop versatile forces that can be employed in a range of lesser type 
contingencies, but ones which, nevertheless, may be characterized 
as high intensity conflicts based on the nature of the adversary's 
(or adversaries') forces posture capabilities and the proliferation of 
advanced weaponry to less developed and Third World nations 
and non-state actors, including perhaps even terrorist organiza- 
tions operating within the territory of a specified "host nation." 

The foregoing analysis suggests that so-called rapid reaction 
forces will form an even more important component of future power 
projection capabilities, with integrated air and sea-based forces 
having a "forced entry" capability assuming greater importance in 
the context of the overall force posture planning at the Joint Staff 
level in the United States. Because of their organic ground combat, 

100 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

aviation, and support capabilities, including coordinated com- 
mand and control elements, Marine expeditionary forces, together 
with the associated capability of Naval Expeditionary Ready 
Groups, possess a capability that might be best suited to the types 
of contingencies that will confront U.S. decision makers in the re- 
maining years of this century. As with the Gulf War experience, 
off-shore U.S. naval assets could be deployed to clear waters for a 
potential amphibious assault, while utilizing carrier-based avia- 
tion and cruise missile assets to target and interdict enemy C^I 
sites, air defense radars, and other important high value aim- 
points to help obtain air superiority over the battlefield before the 
actual insertion into the theater of ground forces. In those situa- 
tions like Desert Storm where a long-lead time was provided for mo- 
bilization before the outbreak of hostilities, or in the more likely 
case where a timely reconstitution and mobilization of U.S. forces is 
required, the relatively self-contained assets of the carrier battle 
group, including its Marine components, continue to offer the U.S. 
a reliable interventionist option for many possible future con- 
tingencies. And, it may be that in the future all power projection 
capabilities should be incorporated into the Marine Corps, includ- 
ing the Army's airborne assault divisions. But this makes sense 
only in the context of a unified special operations, amphibious as- 
sault command structure that includes as well, organic airlift assets 
- a proposal that both the Army and the Air Force could be ex- 
pected to oppose. 

Without question in the future, the United States, as a maritime 
nation, will continue to depend on its naval power as an important 
instrument of diplomacy and perhaps coercion in the context of its 
new global strategy. Naval forces and associated Marine Corps as- 
sets are particularly well-suited to a range of contingencies, including 
"maritime contingencies, small-to-medium scale contingencies in 
coastal areas, and, where relevant, as the lead element in large- 
scale responses." 5 For a growing number of contingencies this is 
likely to mean greater reliance on Navy and Marine Corps assets, 

5 See Donald C.F. Daniel, "Beyond the 600-Ship Navy," Adelphi Papers 261, Autumn 1991, p. 36. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 101 

Marine Corps University 

since much of Army force structure will be redeployed to CONUS 
from their present forward-based locations, and "forward pres- 
ence" is likely to be defined by the capacity of the United States to 
maintain autonomous units and logistics stocks in close proximity 
to a potential crisis theater. This may entail the development of 
new coalition-type relationships with countries such as Singapore, 
for example, which may be willing to host the deployment of for- 
ward-based stocks of ammunition and equipment, if not some type 
of force presence itself. Or, it could mean greater reliance on 
USMC/USN prepositioned platforms and logistics ships which in 
both instances will require new thinking in Congress, OSD and 
the Department of the Navy about force structure, acquisition 
priorities and the potential roles of new technologies, from Toma- 
hawk cruise missiles to maritime propulsion systems. For the Navy 
and Congress together it will also require innovative ideas as to 
how to address "manpower" issues, including long-term deploy- 
ments, women and the pregnancy issue and ship-to-shore rotation 
policies, and clarification of "combat-exclusion" decision-making. 

In terms of operational effectiveness and in light of the in- 
creased uncertainties of the new world into which we are moving 
greater reliance on U.S. maritime assets makes imminent sense, es- 
pecially if NATO, in the context of the Strategy Review process, 
moves to change ~ as it is likely to do ~ its own command structure 
to emphasize "Flank" operational contingency planning over its 
previous focus on the Central Front and a ground forces' mission 
orientation. At a time when the relevance of NATO is in question 
in many quarters, the framework of the Atlantic Alliance remains 
an important basis for managing change in the European security 
setting, while providing a basis for ensuring stability on the Con- 
tinent in an uncertain time. Yet, there is a clear need to revise the 
Alliance's planning concepts to reflect the transformation of the 
"Soviet" threat and the rise to importance of so-called "out-of- 
area" issues. The newly perceived greater importance of the Alli- 
ance's Northern and Southern regions is clearly reflected by the 
movement away for the planning assumptions of Flexible Response 
and toward a SHAPE concept directed towards counter concentra- 
tions planning and rapid reaction forces. Thus, an important new 
aspect of Marine Corps, Navy and Joint planning will have to be 

102 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

the coordination between what OSD/Service planners are doing 
and the whole NATO Strategy Review process. This is not to suggest 
that, as in the past, U.S. Service and Joint planning should be 
Euro-centric in focus; it is meant to convey the importance of un- 
derstanding what is going on in the NATO-European theater in 
terms of the assumptions we are making at a U.S. planning level as 
well as in the context of coordinating "out-of-area" planning with 
either a specific ally, such as the United Kingdom or with the Alli- 
ance as a whole. 

Even as the emphasis on Europe in U.S. national security 
planning will probably diminish in the years ahead, in concert 
with the concomitant draw-down of American forces from that 
Theater, it is important to understand that the Alliance's Northern 
and Southern regions, particularly the latter which includes as 
well the Mediterranean littoral and the gateway to the Middle East, 
will be the site of new and emerging security threats that may 
have direct implications for U.S. (and Allied) interests in the com- 
ing years. Sitting astride two of the world's vital economic and 
commercial centers of power (i.e., Western Europe and the Persian 
Gulf), freedom of access across the Mediterranean and through 
the Suez Canal remains a fundamental U.S. national interest that 
has not lost its relevance in the post-Cold War era. Just as impor- 
tant is the need to assure the security of U.S. allies in the region, in- 
cluding Italy and Turkey — two NATO allies — as well as to have a 
continued presence in the region (largely via access to NATO in- 
stallations and by virtue of the forward deployment of elements of 
the U.S. 6th Fleet) either to react to developments in North Africa 
or the Persian Gulf region in a timely fashion, or to help promote 
stability in potentially conflict-prone areas (e.g., Algeria, Morocco, 
Chad-Libya-Niger, and Egypt). 

Since the end of World War II, this so-called "arc of crisis" area 
has traditionally required intervention from outside powers since 
regional organizations to promote security cooperation have been 
largely unsuccessful in balancing the forces in the region. This is 
unlikely to change in the post-Cold War era given the enduring na- 
ture of the Arab-Israeli confrontation and the precipitous growth 
of Islamic fundamentalism, especially in the wake of Desert Storm. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 103 

Marine Corps University 

Beyond this, with a new inward looking "Soviet Union," Moscow's 
ability to harness the activities of its former client states in the re- 
gion is fundamentally diminished, removing from the regional 
balance one of the relatively more stable elements in the equation. 
These factors, together with the adverse socio-demographic trends 
which characterize countries in the region, suggest that the United 
States must remain proactive in the region, promoting attempts not 
only to convene a "peace conference" as a basis for a possible po- 
litical settlement, but also to maintain a capability for intervention 
should it be necessary to employ military forces. 

Geo-politically the Mediterranean/Persian Gulf region forms a 
comprehensive entity whose overall stability affects each of its 
component parts. It is useful to recall that during Desert Shield the 
massive U.S. logistical reinforcement effort depended heavily on 
forward-based forces in Europe and logistical infrastructure avail- 
able in the Mediterranean region. Without access to U.S. equip- 
ment and POMCUS in the NATO area, both the size and speed of 
the coalition response would have been affected negatively. As it 
was, the coalition effort had the luxury of a prolonged period of 
mobilization and reinforcement; in a future crisis in the Persian 
Gulf region, we may not have five months within which to move 
forces from CONUS to the theater of operations, underscoring the 
importance of some type of forward presence in Europe for use in 
contingencies in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as in 

But the future of American forces based in Europe is far from 
clear, despite the repeated affirmations of the senior U.S. and 
NATO leadership as to the continued importance and viability of 
the NATO framework. In the context of German unification and 
the changes that have taken place in the European strategic set- 
ting, proverbial U.S. questioning about burden-sharing has 
reemerged on center stage in the U.S. Congress, while the impetus 
toward "burden-shedding" is gaining momentum throughout the 
Atlantic Alliance. Among Europeans there is a great debate over 
security collaboration, with some allies - the French in particular - 
seeking to displace NATO with a new security framework organized 
under the auspices of the European Community; while others, 

104 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

notably the British are insistent that NATO retain its premier role, 
in part as a means of assuring a formal nexus with the United 
States. At this point in time it is unclear as to the outcome of this 
debate; but it is more likely the case that if NATO were to be super- 
seded by a European Community organization, or a broader East- 
West cooperative framework, such as is envisaged in the CSCE 
process (and notably its Conflict Prevention Center), it is question- 
able whether the United States government will be able to sustain 
public and Congressional support for any type of forward presence 
on the ground in Europe - once again reaffirming the potential 
role and importance of sea-based forces and forward-based 
logistical and repair facilities. Nevertheless, this may be a moot 
point, since it is also unlikely that the Europeans will continue to 
support the deployment of foreign forces on their national 
territories in the absence of a formal Alliance or as part of a 
multinational forces concept. 

This being the case, it may be that in the coming years, the Unit- 
ed States will find it prudent to move to develop an interlocking 
network of national bilateral agreements outside the NATO frame- 
work for access to bases and other infrastructure facilities 
grounded less in European theater contingency planning and ori- 
ented more towards Middle East scenarios. Although in this con- 
text it would also be wise for U.S. policy-planners to have 
POMCUS and forces available for possible intervention (perhaps 
under U.S. auspices, but perhaps as well under the aegis of the 
CSCE) in the Balkans where historic instabilities and conflict po- 
tential could escalate, as they have done already in Yugoslavia, 
into a major confrontation that could spill over into Turkey, Italy ~ 
or even Greece. 

Even as the concept of collective security, as exemplified by 
NATO, may be changing, it remains important for the United 
States to have the capacity to operate with "allies" in a coalition 
framework in order to attract the political consensus that is neces- 
sary to support future military interventions. This requirement im- 
poses upon U.S. force planners the need for military forces to train 
and exercise on a regular basis with major Allied units and proba- 
bly means as well the sustained deployment of forward-based 

Perspectives in Warfighting 105 

Marine Corps University 

stores of equipment and ammunition to facilitate a timely and re- 
sponsive intervention capability. 

From an historical perspective, nearly one third of all crises to 
which the United States has had to dispatch forces since World 
War II have occurred in the Mediterranean arc. Since 1980 that 
proportion has risen to nearly 50 percent. 6 And, as noted above, 
this is likely to remain true in coming years because of the "endem- 
ic instability in this region." However, there is another arc of crisis, 
extending from the Indian Ocean to the Asian-Pacific region, in 
which the United States must also be capable of response with a 
timely force presence to deter conflict and instability and to restore 
the "balance" should fighting erupt. The future threats to U.S. in- 
terests in this region range from the emergence of India as a re- 
gional hegemony to Korean unification and perhaps its prolifera- 
tion as a nuclear weapons state to Japan's emergence as a major 
military power in the region. While hypothetical in nature, each of 
these contingencies is based on the reality of the day and could, if 
any one such scenario actually came to pass, have potentially pro- 
found implications for U.S. economic and security interests. 

The importance of forward presence in the Asian-Pacific region 
almost dwarfs our needs in Europe when one considers the geo- 
graphical distances that cross the theater and the absence of any 
overall regional or subregional security architecture involving the 
participation of the United States. While the United States does 
maintain a series of mutually reinforcing bilateral relationships 
with the countries in the Asian-Pacific area, they are most mature 
in Northeast Asia, where the U.S. maintains explicit security guar- 
antees to Japan and the Republic of Korea. Still, the loss of access 
to Philippine bases and logistical infrastructure, together with the 
great distances between such points as Singapore or Guam — two 
proposed alternative sites for hosting some of the Subic Bay opera- 
tions — places greater importance on access to facilities in North- 
east Asia, at a time when popular opinion in both Korea and Ja- 

6 Bradford Dismukes and Commander Bradd C. Hayes, USN, "The Med Remains Vital,' 
Proceedings, October 1991, p. 48. 

106 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

pan is growing more hostile to the continued presence of U.S. 
forces on their respective national territories. The potential for 
conflict in the Asian-Pacific area arises from a series of religious, 
ethnic and fundamentalist disputes as well as from controversies 
over resources and sovereignty questions. While it is not in the 
cards for the United States to assume the role of "world police- 
man," it is surely in the interest of the United States to maintain a 
military capability in the region ~ or failing that - in close proximity 
to the region in keeping with the new national security strategy that 
was outlined by President Bush at Aspen in August 1990. 

Finally, it remains essential for the United States to retain a ca- 
pability for reconstitution of forces in the face of great uncertainty 
about the future of the Soviet Republics. The abortive coup in the 
Soviet Union has resulted in the fragmentation of the Soviet em- 
pire that has laid the seeds for future attempts to restore a sem- 
blance of central control over the dissident Republics. This coming 
winter will be a difficult one for the Russian Republics, some of 
which have already indicated — such as the Ukraine ~ an unwill- 
ingness to share foodstuffs with Russia and the other Republics. 
Internal unrest and even conflict within and between the autono- 
mous Republics could spill-over into the newly emerging 
democracies of Eastern Europe for example as a result of the exo- 
dus of refugees and immigrants seeking asylum and safety from 
the turbulence of the former Soviet Union. The implications of this 
uncertainty are great for Western Europe and could impose special 
requirements on NATO and the United States in terms of conflict 
containment. In the period just before the abortive coup attempt, 
the United States and its NATO allies were moving with the Soviet 
government toward definition of a "cooperative" deterrence regime 
in which crisis management and conflict escalation control were 
seen to be important aspects of a more positive East-West relation- 
ship, and to provide a basis for cooperation in regions beyond Eu- 
rope where the United States and the Soviet Union shared interests 
in conflict control, including in the Middle East with proliferation 
as a major concern. 

Events of the last two and one half years have demonstrated the 
great uncertainty of the present security setting. Against a rapidly 

Perspectives in Warfighting 107 

Marine Corps University 

evolving strategic environment, the importance of having available 
a range of options, from military intervention to crisis diplomacy, 
is self-evident. Forward presence, whether defined by the actual 
basing in forward areas of U.S. forces, or in the global deployment 
of carrier battle groups or elements thereof, remains an essential 
feature of U.S. national security policy. Such presence may be de- 
fined by new patterns of deployments for maritime assets, and/or 
by changed geographic locations for ground and air units; but in 
common with the past, it will - if U.S. interests are to be sustained ~ 
entail a credible mix of assets, having a wide range of capabilities, 
which are capable of operating autonomously or until reinforce- 
ments can arrive in theater. 

108 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Section III 

Naval Expeditionary Forces, 
Power Projection and Combat 



the midst of worldwide centrifugal forces and in the 
course of a major U.S. national security reassessment, the outlining of 
service roles assumes paramount importance. The authors in this 
section address the adaptation and refinement of traditional Ma- 
rine missions in the context of constrained resources and ambigu- 
ous threats. LtGen Walter E. Boomer recounts the longstanding 
role of Naval Expeditionary Forces (NEFs) as amphibious assault 
forces, but claims this configuration is too narrow for today's naval 
capabilities and emerging regional threats. He asserts that NEFs 
must be equipped for three missions: 1) Crisis response and peace- 
time engagement. 2) Joint and allied contingency operations. 3) Blue 
water sea control against residual Russian naval forces. 

The author observes that in littoral regions of the world, American 
global economic and security interests intersect with growing in- 
stability and modernized armies. In the likely absence of forward 
bases in these areas, forward deployed naval forces must provide 
military presence and crisis response. Rapid reaction, credibility 
and self-sustainability are the hallmarks of today's forward de- 
ployed Marine expeditionary units. 

To maintain their relevance for the future, naval forces must de- 
velop an integrated NEF Task Force capability which will allow 
Navy or Marine officers to rapidly assume a Joint Task Force role. 
This calls for NEF access to all-source digital data and informa- 
tion management systems, NEF staff proficiency at coordinating 

Perspectives in Warfighting 109 

Marine Corps University 

naval and joint operations, and NEF capability to support joint 
and allied ground operations. As part of this effort Crisis Action 
Modules are a step in the direction of allowing commanders to 
quickly task-organize a force anywhere in the world. 

BGen Charles Wilhelm examines the important role played by 
Marine Air Ground Task Forces (Special Operations Capable), or 
MAGTF(SOC)s, in complementing the activities and missions of 
Special Operations Forces (SOF). Like SOF, MAGTF(SOC)s have 
utility across the operational continuum and possess a mobility, 
availability, and flexibility which make them useful in the LIC en- 
vironment. To obtain the SOC designation, MAGTF(SOC)s are 
trained in 18 special missions tasks, some of which have long been 
practiced by Marine forces and others which have required refined 
staff procedure and new tactics. 

Even before Congressional attention was directed at shoring up 
weaknesses in U.S. capabilities for special operations and low-in- 
tensity conflict, the Navy and Marine Corps had initiated the proc- 
ess of SOC qualification and had committed over $1 million in 
supplemental equipment purchases for each Marine Expeditionary 
Unit (MEU). This early recognition of the need for more rigorous 
training of MEUs in special operations tasks was an outgrowth of 
the adaptive culture of amphibious operations specialists, who, ac- 
cording to the author, have a heritage of pioneering whatever is 
necessary to get the job done. 

The versatility of MAGTF(SOC)s has been demonstrated in 
combat operations during the Gulf War, humanitarian assistance 
operations in northern Iraq, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, and 
in non-combatant evacuation operations in Liberia and Somalia. 
In the furtue, maritime SOF and sea-based SOC forces must adjust 
to new roles. Among these missions must be a capacity to destroy 
an adversary's surface-to-surface nuclear, biological, and chemical 
weapons capabilities, conduct special reconnaissance missions, 
serve as a forward presence, and respond to regional crises. 

To aid in the pursuit of these objectives, interagency cooperation 
will be essential in the intelligent use of all military and civilian 

110 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

agency assets in training and crisis situations. One area where 
interagency cooperation has already proved fruitful relates to Marine 
Corps cooperation with the FBI. Under the Training Assistance to 
the Marine Corps, the FBI has provided Special Agents to each 
Fleet Marine Force commander to train MAGTF(SOC)s in indi- 
vidual skills, special targets training, and urban environments. 

To enhance interagency cooperation, the author recommends 
that in LIC contingencies, an interagency organization similar to 
the Vietnam-era CORDS be formed to serve in the host nation 
while in crisis situations, an interagency rapid response cell be de- 
ployed to provide liaison between the country team and other deci- 
sion-making centers. 

In the last article of this section, Theodore Clark and Thomas 
Harvey trace the threats posed by the proliferation of ballistic mis- 
siles and weapons of mass destruction as well as NEF adaptations 
of doctrine to counter these threats. Currently, 15 to 20 developing 
countries have or are attempting to acquire a ballistic missile capa- 
bility. With increasing range, accuracy, and more deadly war- 
heads, ballistic missiles play a much greater role in developing na- 
tions' overall wariighting strategy while creating greater security 
problems for American forces abroad. In a parallel effort, many 
developing countries are pursuing nuclear weapons programs. Israel, 
Syria, and Iran have recently been locked in a regional arms race 
and may offer the best index of how quickly and in what form pro- 
liferation efforts will manifest themselves in the 1990s. 

In light of this global dispersion of advanced weapons tech- 
nologies, the proven power projection capability of the Marine 
Corps faces a significant challenge. Doctrinally, the Marine Corps 
has embraced the concept of maneuver warfare as the optimal 
means for depriving an opponent of massed targets for high-tech 
weapons. This approach involves an emphasis on surprise, rapid 
strikes and flanking maneuvers to destroy the moral and physical 
balance of an enemy. In terms of operational techniques, the Ma- 
rines have upgraded their over-the-horizon capability to remain 
beyond the easy reach of enemy shore and air defenses while per- 

Perspectives in Warfighting HI 

Marine Corps University 

mitting rapid deployment of amphibious forces ashore by helicop- 
ters and air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC). 

The Marine Corps has also been a strong proponent of joint op- 
erations and phased deployments which highlight the strengths 
and offset the vulnerabilities of individual services. One develop- 
ment which will greatly benefit the Marines is the fielding of anti- 
tactical ballistic missiles (ATBMs) under the direction of the SDIO 
and the Army. 

112 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter I 

Conventional Operations as 
Sea-based Forces 

LtGen Walter E. Boomer, USMC 


x>w can naval forces best respond to the national se- 
curity demands that will be made upon them in the emerging post 
Cold War period? Throughout America's history naval expedition- 
ary forces (NEF) have played an important and often critical role 
in the protection of United States and Allied national security in- 
terests. The structure and technology of these forces have repeated- 
ly evolved and changed to provide for adequate capabilities to de- 
feat anticipated threats. The evolution continues, as defense bud- 
gets shrink and views on future threats change. This paper will ex- 
amine how naval expeditionary forces (NEF) should evolve in or- 
der to best contribute to an adequate national defense capability. 


Traditionally, NEFs have been viewed as carrier striking forces 
and amphibious assault forces which can operate from a sea base 
for extended periods to successfully project power at a time and 
place of their choosing against a determined, well-armed hostile 
force. Anti-submarine warfare against modern nuclear attack sub- 
marines have been viewed as the critical enabling priority to pro- 
ject such naval power. These views are too narrow for today's naval 
capabilities and emerging regional strategy and threats. 

Today, against the backdrop of successful Allied and joint mili- 
tary operations against Iraqi forces and as a result of the end of the 
Cold War and ongoing defense resource reductions, the United 
States finds itself engaged in another fundamental reevaluation of 

Perspectives in Warfighting 113 

Marine Corps University 

its national defense structure. There is a consensus that "adequate" 
defense capability must be maintained; however, what constitutes 
adequate defense capability is subject to debate and opinion. 

I believe that NEFs will continue to be an essential com- 
ponent of an adequate national defense on three levels: 

1) As forward-deployed forces conducting peacetime en- 
gagement activities and providing immediate crisis re- 
sponse capability, particularly in the world's littorals. 

2) As an integral part of joint and Allied military opera- 
tions in response to regional contingencies. 

3) As a blue water naval force which can defeat any 
modern naval force, should peace and deterrence fail. 


The United States is dependent upon having unimpeded access 
to the sea to reach its markets, raw materials for its industries and 
to fulfill its treaty obligations in defense of democracy. In fact, dur- 
ing 1990, United States imports and exports by sea alone exceeded 
$800 billion. Such trade depends upon open sea lines of communi- 
cation (SLOCs). 

Much of the world's raw material reserves lie in the littorals in 
lesser developed countries or regions. Many of the world's SLOCs 
pass through these same regions where instability could dramati- 
cally affect access to critical raw materials or markets. Deterring 
and, if necessary, controlling conflict in these critical littoral areas 
will continue to be of profound interest to the United States. 

The United States remains the leader of the free world. We have 
global interests in support of democratic institutions and global 
treaty obligations as defense against aggression. Deterring wars 
and stopping aggression as part of our treaty obligations will re- 
main essential national interests. 

114 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


I envision a world which will be less stable, yet less likely to re- 
sort to global war. Industrialized nations will continue the evolu- 
tionary improvement of weapons technology but at a reduced rate, 
as budgets and needs decline. As superpowers move from military 
confrontation, individual regional leaders or nations will seek lo- 
cal or regional advantage, and if possible, hegemony. World 
supplies of modern, lethal weapons systems will be more than ade- 
quate to meet the demands of ambitious regional leaders. In fact, 
as NATO and Soviet armed forces are sharply reduced in size 
there may be a glut of excess weapons on the world arms market. 
Potential adversaries may be armed with a formidable inventory of 
modern, highly lethal, and sophisticated weapons systems, includ- 
ing missiles, aircraft and mines. 

The growth of military forces in developing nations coupled 
with the decline of Soviet influence in these areas are major 
destabilizing factors in various regions of the world. During the 
period 1960 to 1990, the overall trend in the growth of armed forces 
for the developed world is relatively unchanged. During that same 
period the population of the developing world increased by 94 
percent, but their regular armed forces have risen by 116 percent 
totalling close to 28 million. 

It is one thing to possess modern weapons and quite another to 
successfully employ them with full synergistic effect in concert 
with other military capabilities. Iraq had great quantities of mod- 

I ern weapons; however, Iraqi military doctrine was centralized and 
rigid. In the future, we cannot assume that adversaries will lack the 

i ability to fully integrate and aggressively employ their forces. 

Should the Soviets reverse their course toward peace, they still 
possess a modern and highly formidable naval force. Like other 
navies it is being reduced in size; however, this reduction will like- 
ly focus on lesser capable ships and sailors. What will remain will 
be the nucleus of a very capable force. We must retain the ability to 
defeat this force as long as it remains. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 115 

Marine Corps University 


In the world's littorals, America's global economic interests, 
maritime lines of communications and treaty obligations intersect 
with growing instability, a rapid expansion of armies equipped 
with modern weapons and expansionist oriented leaders. In these 
areas, we maintain few, if any bases, and are unlikely to build any. 
Forward deployed naval forces provide military presence and im- 
mediate crisis response in these areas. This requirement will not 
diminish in the foreseeable future and will probably increase. For 
example, prior to the Iraqi attack on Kuwait in August 1990, carrier 
battle groups and amphibious ready groups made periodic visits to 
the Arabian Sea area from their normal deployments in the Medi- 
terranean and Western Pacific. Continuous naval presence in the 
Arabian Sea area is now required by the U.S. Central Command. 

NEFs must maintain the capability to operate from a sea base in 
the world's littorals, both as a self-contained naval force and as 
part of a fully integrated, mutually supportive joint or Allied effort. 
Should East-West peace fail, we must maintain the ability to defeat 
any modern navy, as the most credible deterrent to its use. There- 
fore, the future security environment will demand NEFs be capa- 
ble of responding on three operational levels. The first level is cri- 
sis response and peacetime engagement. The second level is joint 
and Allied contingency operations. These two levels will be the pri- 
mary focus of NEF operations. The third level is blue water sea 
control against residual Soviet naval forces. 


Naval expeditionary forces employed in crisis response and 
peacetime engagement (first level) are tailored from the capa- 
bilities developed to operate as part of joint/combined contingency 
forces (second level) or wartime forces (level three). These forces 
must be able to rapidly transition from one level to the next. In a 
world which will likely see persistent instability along the littorals, 
we need to maintain forward deployed forces which provide 
unified commanders with immediately available crisis response 

116 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

forces. This is a traditional naval expeditionary mission. Carrier 
battle groups and integrated Navy amphibious ready groups and 
Marine expeditionary units continue to remain forward-deployed 
providing the unified commander with a self-contained force 
which can loiter over the horizon and strike quickly at the time 
and place of their choosing, and then redeploy just as quickly. 

Rapid reaction, credibility and self-sustainability are the hall- 
marks of today's forward-deployed amphibious ready group/Ma- 
rine expeditionary unit organizations. These forces are able to 
launch sea-based operations from over the horizon against coastal 
or inland locations within six hours of notification. They can oper- 
ate at night and without electronic emissions. Carrier battle groups 
and surface action groups have similar rapid response capabilities. 
Presence as a deterrent, evacuation operations, disaster relief and 
support for counter-terrorist operations are but a few of the possi- 
ble missions. The demand for these forces to remain forward de- 
ployed has in fact increased post Desert Storm. 

For example, in May 1991, a NEF composed of 5th Marine Ex- 
peditionary Brigade and Amphibious Group 3 was returning 
home from Desert Storm when directed to augment joint disaster 
relief forces in Bangladesh commanded by the Commanding Gen- 
eral III Marine Expeditionary Force. The flexibility inherent in 
these forces was demonstrated when they redeployed from combat 
operations against Iraq to sea-based disaster relief operations in a 
country where national infrastructure was totally devastated. 

Peacetime engagement to counter instability, relieve natural and 
human disaster, support democracy, and the continuing expan- 
sion of counternarcotics missions will demand the unique 
capabilities found in NEFs. Most of these capabilities are resident 
in traditional Navy and Marine force structure; however, language 
skills, specialized equipment, such as riverine craft, and special- 
ized training may be required to assist other Allied nations suc- 
cessfully conduct such operations. 

Host nation infrastructure is fragile and often very limited in the 
world's littorals. NEFs must rapidly tailor response forces to oper- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 117 

Marine Corps University 

ate compatibly with this infrastructure. Our forces must not create 
greater crisis, in an effort to respond. 

NEF operations should be the primary focus of future naval op- 
erations. Naval forces must expand their ability to respond rapidly 
to crisis anywhere in the world. Such forces must remain forward 
deployed in order to respond immediately and yet be able to im- 
mediately transition to the role of on-scene joint task force (JTF) to 
serve as the base upon which to build an integrated military re- 


When forward deployed forces are inadequate to deter or con- 
tain a crisis, the widest possible range of credible options must be 
available and ready to support the unified commander. Our mili- 
tary goal will undoubtedly be to quickly control and favorably re- 
solve a crisis with minimum destruction and loss of life. The speed 
with which a credible force can reach such a crisis area is critical; 
speed to prevent the expansion of the crisis and credible force to 
make our adversary pause and think. 

NEFs have two roles in these conventional contingency opera- 
tions. First they are the tip of America's military spear; i.e., the first 
self-sustainable forces to respond with credible capabilities. Sec- 
ond, should the crisis expand, and additional U.S. and Allied 
forces be deployed, NEFs must be able to transition to the role of 
the sea-arm of the unified commander's multi-dimensional theater 

As the tip of the spear, NEFs should be able to pave the way for 
deployment of land-based forces. Deployed NEFs can perform en- 
abling and containment roles early in a crisis and provide unique, 
critical capabilities for a unified theater campaign should joint/ 
Allied operations be required. They must be able to project milita- 
ry forces into an area where no established bases exist and to oper- 
ate and sustain themselves for an extended period of time. For- 

118 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

ward-deployed naval forces, maritime prepositioning ships and air 
deployable forces can quickly converge on an area and begin 
sea-based operations. These operations would focus on enabling 
the strategic deployment and buildup of all forces by: 

1) Establishing control of the sea and air space required 
for the strategic deployment of other joint forces. 

2) Seizing and protecting critical choke points, facilities 
and expeditionary seaport and air facilities for the recep- 
tion and marshalling of these forces. 

3) Providing sea-based sustainment for all early deploy- 
ing forces until land-based logistics can be established. 

If additional forces are deployed for expanded joint or Allied 
operations, the NEF must also be able to expand and transition to 
the role of naval component commander or even to separate Navy 
and Marine service component commanders. The NEF must ma- 
ture to encompass whatever combination of reserve or active Navy 
or Marine units are required to serve as fully integrated compo- 
nents) of the total theater military force. 

Let us examine what capabilities NEF should possess to accom- 
plish these missions. 


Establishing control of the sea and air space 

NEFs must have the capability to control the sea and air space 
required in order to provide a protective umbrella over a joint 
force deployment area and permit the introduction of forces and 
build-up of required combat power. This requires the capability to 
operate against the range of threats that a developing world milita- 
ry force might present, when armed with modern weapons. 

The NEF must have the capability to defeat quiet, conventional 
submarines, missiles, aircraft, small fast missile boats and shallow 

Perspectives in Warfighting 119 

Marine Corps University 

water mines. The task force must maintain air and sea superiority, 
even supremacy over the crisis area. It must be able to conduct 
uninterrupted operations in shallow water and land raid forces 
from the sea to seize/control critical choke points or destroy critical 
enemy facilities. 

Seizing and protecting expeditionary bases 

Rapid deployment and build-up of joint forces depends upon 
access to air and port facilities. Air facilities are required for rapid 
build-up of personnel and land-based air operations. Port facilities 
are critical for the rapid build-up of equipment, munitions and 
supplies. Maritime prepositioning shipping can be off-loaded 
without port facilities; however, off-load speed can be significantly 
increased by using established ports. For example, in August 1990, 
two MPS ships offloaded 4,000 C-141 equivalents of equipment in 
Saudi Arabia in four days. Except for amphibious ships, all other 
sealift requires port facilities for off-load. 

If expeditionary air bases and port facilities in the crisis area are 
available and offered by Allied nations, they will need to be de- 
fended against potential attack and may require extensive, rapid 
construction/expansion. NEFs can provide security forces and, 
more importantly, heavy construction capability. For example, Na- 
val Construction Battalions were deployed in August and Septem- 
ber 1990 to Southwest Asia and rapidly expanded facilities. 

If not available, air and port facilities must be created or seized 
and defended. NEFs must be prepared to control the employment 
of joint forces for the seizure of air or port facilities. In addition, 
the NEF must be prepared to conduct raids to evacuate non-com- 
batants, rescue hostages or to destroy critical enemy facilities. 

To accomplish these missions, NEFs must be able to conduct 
forcible entry landing operations from over the horizon at sea and, 
if required, simultaneously coordinate and direct airborne, special 
and other operations. Amphibious assault forces, airborne forces, 
aircraft carrier strike forces, cruise missile forces, long range 
bomber forces may all be used. Their operations must be integ- 

120 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

rated and controlled. The NEF commander and his staff must be 
prepared to operate as a JTF to direct such operations. 

Providing sea-based sustainment 

NEFs must have the capability to sustain arriving forces while 
additional forces are introduced. Once established ashore, air de- 
ployed forces will have to rely upon sea-based sustainment until 
strategic sealift. prepositioned stocks or host nation infrastructure 
can provide requisite support. Amphibious and maritime preposi- 
tioning ships with organic supplies aboard may be called upon to 
support all early-deployed forces. Such support also requires a ro- 
bust, organic transportation and distribution capability. 

Overarching capabilities 

To be effective as the tip of the spear, the NEF must have the 
command and control capabilities required to direct and coordi- 
nate naval, joint and Allied operations throughout the land, sea 
and air space involved early in the crisis. The NEF may have to 
serve as the JTF commander and perform the role of joint forces 
air component commander (JFACC) for all early arriving air 
forces. This will require near-realtime situation monitoring and in- 
telligence production and dissemination to all operational forces, 
a thorough understanding of the warfighting doctrine and proce- 
dures of all quick response U.S. contingency forces and the ability 
to rapidly transition from naval to JTF command and control. 

Theater Component Forces 

A NEF may have to transition from its role as the tip of the crisis 
response spear to serve as service component force(s) in the 
unified commander's campaign chest. The naval component(s) 
must continue to maintain control of the seas and airspace above 
them, regardless of the threat, and provide a credible amphibious 
assault capability to complement the land campaign. If necessary, 
Marine forces must be prepared to participate in the land cam- 
paign. The expanded Navy and Marine component commands 
must be fully integrated into the joint and Allied force structure. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 121 

Marine Corps University 

They must credibly threaten an enemy with a military force to 
which he must respond by defense, attack or decision to ignore. 
Such enemy responses create gaps and weakness which a theater 
campaign plan can exploit. 

Should residual, modern, blue water naval forces threaten ac- 
cess to the seas, our naval forces must retain sufficient naval 
capabilities to defeat them. NEFs must be backed up by a naval 
capability that can defeat modern nuclear attack submarines, hunt 
and kill ballistic missile submarines, and destroy carrier and sur- 
face battle groups. At the same time, a capability must be retained 
for a Marine Expeditionary Force to forcibly enter hostile territory. 
These are essential naval warfighting capabilities that provide the 
force of deterrence which keeps the peace. 


NEFs were a fundamental component of the successful military 
operations against Iraq, because they were credible, responsive 
and interoperable. To remain relevant, NEFs will be required to 
maintain and refine these characteristics. Many of the required 
capabilities of future NEFs already exist in today's naval forces; 
however, they must be integrated as naval and joint forces and 
some expanded capabilities must be developed. 

Naval forces must develop an integrated Navy and Marine 
Corps NEF Task Force capability which will allow forward de- 
ployed Navy or Marine officers to rapidly assume a Joint Task 
Force role. The NEF task force must have the organic command, 
control and communications architecture required for near- 
realtime information flow and decisionmaking. This means imme- 
diate access to all-source digital data and information manage- 
ment systems that can support joint and Allied forces employed in 
the early days of a crisis operation. The NEF must have staffs that 
can immediately transition to joint contingency operations. NEF 
staffs must practice and be proficient at the direction and coordi- 
nation of naval and joint operations. A NEF must be able to as- 
sume the coordinating role for the reception of forces deploying by 

122 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

sea and air and for all operations necessary to control the sea and 
air space for the deployment. All of this requires expanded train- 
ing for NEF commanders and staffs in joint operations. 

Future NEFs must be capable of defeating the expected threat. 
In the world's littorals, this means shallow water mines and con- 
ventional submarines, modern land-based aircraft and missiles, 
fast missile attack boats and sizable, often heavily armored ground 
forces defending key facilities and choke points. Fast, synchro- 
nized, combined arms forces which can attack from any direction, 
at night, without electronic emissions or early warning must be a 
fundamental component of the future NEF. 

The future NEF must be able to support joint and Allied ground 
operations ashore. Sea-based sustainment, close air support, am- 
phibious assault operations and anti-air warfare against aircraft 
and missiles are all essential components of this support. 

Naval forces must retain the capability to build up quickly 
against larger threats. The Navy must be able to defeat the residual 
Soviet naval threat. The Navy and Marine Corps must be able to 
threaten the seaward flank of a modern land army. Marines must 
also be able to deploy early to operate as part of land forces, if re- 
quired to support Army land operations. 

The full range of required capabilities will not be present in all 
forward-deployed NEFs, but integrated force structure and train- 
ing standards for all naval forces will allow commanders to quick- 
ly task-organize a force from all those available worldwide. For ex- 
ample, Crisis Action Modules are a step in this direction. They are 
an evolution in the integration of existing NEFs and are based 
upon our experiences in Southwest Asia. CAMs provide quick re- 
sponse force packages which rapidly deploy and integrate for- 
ward-deployed amphibious forces, air deployed naval forces and 
one or more maritime preposition ship(s) into a single, self- 
sustainable unit tailored to meet the specific contingency needs of 
the unified commander. 

By combining the capabilities present in today's Carrier Battle 

Perspectives in Warfighting 123 

Marine Corps University 

Groups (CVBGs), Amphibious Ready Groups (ARGs), and Sur- 
face Action Groups (SAGs), NEFs can achieve some efficiencies. 
Unifying the command of these various capabilities, routinely de- 
ploying them as an integrated force and realistic joint command 
and control exercises will all be required to increase the flexibility 
of joint response available to the unified commander. 


What does this expanded view portend for the evolution of U.S. 
Marine Corps capabilities? Marine forces will have to remain fun- 
damentally naval in character and even return some Marine 
capabilities more fully to their naval roots. All Marine forces must 
be able to instantly transition to sea-based operations. Marine 
forces, staffs and commanders must have the ability to operate as 
part of joint or Allied forces. Marines must improve their already 
significant ability to operate from a sea or land base, at night, over 
great distances. As Marine forces grow smaller, the synergistic 
combat power that is derived from integrated combined arms op- 
erations and our warfighting doctrine must remain central to the 
way we train and fight. 

The integrated NEF concept outlined in this paper will demand 
that all Marine forces be able to operate as an integral part of the 
naval task force; therefore, we should remain fundamentally naval 
in character. Weapons systems must be designed for embarkation 
and operation at sea. This means size and weight constraints and 
costly corrosion control will remain design requirements. Marine 
forces will have to adapt to operating from carriers and surface 
ships, as well as amphibious ships. 

Navy forces have to become better at shallow water operations 
against developing world threats. Marine forces should be able to 
lend a hand in all aspects of these operations including AAW, 
ASUW, mine counter-measures, task force defense or even ASW. 
At times, Marine forces will not be embarked afloat as part of a 
NEF task force. However, Marines must be able to rapidly deploy 
by air or sea to join the task force or prepositioned equipment to 
operate as part of the task force. We must continue to think of op- 
erations in expeditionary terms; i.e., get to a crisis fast with every- 

124 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

thing we need to fight, conduct operations from the sea or con- 
struct our own expeditionary bases ashore and be able to leave as 
fast as we arrived. 

Naval expeditionary forces will have to improve their ability to 
operate as part of integrated joint and Allied forces. Amphibious 
doctrine recognizes the importance of unity of command and deci- 
sion-making at the lowest possible command level. Joint contin- 
gency operations directed by a unified commander directly or 
through a JTF commander must still be based upon these princi- 
ples. All forces must be integrated through robust command, con- 
trol, communications, computer, intelligence and interoperability 
(CI 2 ) architectures. We must develop the near-realtime capability 
to receive all-source data, fuse it into a current multi-dimensional 
view of the battlefield and transmit this information to 
decisionmakers in time for them to act upon it. We must be able to 
connect all elements of rapid response contingency forces so they 
can operate as an integrated force. Systems must be able to talk to 
systems and Marines must be able to take near-realtime advantage 
of this. 

But joint integration is more than just (CI 2 ) system. It is funda- 
mentally derived from joint training and operations. Every ele- 
ment of the joint task force (JTF) brings unique capabilities and 
limitations to the force. Each element of the JTF must know how 
the other elements fight but retain their individual ability to em- 
ploy forces using their unique doctrine and force structure devel- 
oped to match their intended use and warflghting doctrine. Joint 
does not mean mirror image. For example, Marine forces which 
are designed to operate under expeditionary conditions derive 
their combat capability from their combined arms, warflghting 
doctrine. Since artillery and land-based fire support are limited 
under these conditions, heavy reliance is placed upon integrated 
use of close air support (CAS) to provide combat power when and 
where it is needed. However, U.S. Army forces have much heavier 
densities of artillery and rockets. Any Army view of CAS support for 
fast moving mechanized operations is to push the CAS out beyond 
the direct fire weapons battle. Both of these concepts are correct for 
the forces and doctrine they are intended to support; however, they 

Perspectives in Warflghting 125 

Marine Corps University 

are fundamentally different. Each element of America's rapidly 
deployable joint contingency forces must know how all of the oth- 
er elements fight. This will require expanded joint training, partic- 
ularly among senior commanders and their staffs. 

The evacuation of Somalia in January of 1991 may provide an 
instructive framework for future naval expeditionary forces de- 
mands. Between 2 and 6 January 1991, a tailored amphibious force 
was withdrawn from Desert Shield operations and sailed some 
1,300 miles in three days. On hours notice, it deployed Marine and 
Navy forces at night over 460 miles of ocean, secured the embassy 
compound and sent a rescue team through rebel-held streets to re- 
cover evacuees, then evacuated some 261 persons without loss of 
life. The task force deployed without notice. It had to operate with 
joint forces and communicate over great distances. It had to 
launch evacuation operations from distances which exceed the 
capabilities of our current assault helicopters. Throughout the op- 
eration it had to be prepared to operate in a hostile environment. 
The unexpected pervades the expeditionary environment. Naval 
forces anticipated and responded to the unexpected as a matter of 
course. The naval task force commander and on-scene evacuation 
force commander deployed into the embassy had to fuse available 
intelligence, coordinate all operations and make on scene deci- 
sions. Such operations will probably have to be repeated in the fu- 

All the Services have a role in our national defense strategy. The 
Navy-Marine Corps team has been and should continue to be the 
Nation's forward-deployed force in readiness, able to respond 
quickly with credible power projection anywhere on the globe. The 
changing world situation demands greater cooperation and team- 
work within and between Services. Future NEFs, task-organized 
and employed in imaginative ways, will give the Nation a potent 
force that will play an essential role in our military strategy and 
that will complement the unique capabilities of other Services. 

126 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter II 

Special Operations and 
Sea-Based Forces 


BGen Charles E. Wilhelm, USMC 

n a reaction against the militarily ineffective policies of 
incrementalism associated with the Vietnam War, the present 
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has embraced the use of 
"overwhelming force" to bring conflicts in which U.S. forces are 
engaged to a swift and favorable conclusion. As evidenced by Op- 
eration Desert Storm, large conventional and strategic forces are 
needed to deter and defeat the significant large-scale threats which 
remain in the world, even after the implosion of the former Soviet 
empire. But beneath these macro challenges, there is an amalga- 
mation of more ambiguous threats which comprise the low-inten- 
sity conflict (LIC) environment, in which overwhelming force and 
strategic deterrence are irrelevant. If incrementalism is effective 
and overwhelming force is inappropriate for LIC challenges, what 
better alternatives remain? 

Micro, not macro, force options are more appropriate when 
dealing with many threats on the low end of the operational con- 
tinuum, such as counterterrorism, counternarcotics, and varied 
scenarios which combine elements of the aforementioned with on- 
going or incipient insurgencies. The development of these smaller 
force options, employed before international security problems 
have reached crisis proportions, is a logical course of action given 
the present paring of forces. These contemporary challenges are 
complex, and solutions will require innovative thought and flexi- 
ble teamwork. In short, it is an ideal scenario for maritime SOF 
and SOC forces. 


The distinction between Special Operations Forces (SOF) and 

Perspectives in Warfighting 127 

Marine Corps University 

Special Operations Capable (SOC) forces is often poorly under- 
stood. SOF are assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command 
(USSOCOM) by law, and special operations activities are similarly 
delineated. Some SOF activities, such as unconventional warfare, 
require unique training and specialized equipment. Other mis- 
sions, such as direct action, are frequently performed by conven- 
tional forces as well. For this reason, conventional forces can be 
found executing some special operations activities, e.g., raids. Both 
are currently involved in riverine environments, developing doc- 
trine and sending Mobile Training Teams to South America as 
part of the U.S. counternarcotics campaign. 

Unlike SOF, which have permanent units, the Marine Air- 
Ground Task Forces (Special Operations Capable), or MAGTF- 
(SOC)s, are task organized units which are formed and trained for 
a specific deployment or task. A conventional force which has re- 
ceived intensive training, a MAGTF(SOC) contains a limited 
amount of special equipment to enhance its Special Operations 
Capabilities. Like SOF, MAGTF(SOC)s have utility across the op- 
erational continuum and their mobility, availability, and flexibility 
make them especially useful in the LIC environment. The matter 
has been summed up by General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., USMC, as 
follows: "We train Marines to have some special operations 
capabilities. That is different from being a special operations force. 
We are not, and do not pretend to be, nor should we be, SOF. Be- 
cause we believe that the forward-deployed forces should have as 
many capabilities as they can, we train to do some militarily spe- 
cial operations." 

SOF and Conventional Forces 

Special Operations Forces and conventional forces are not in 
competition. Their roles have long been complementary, and stu- 
dents of military history are familiar with the important role 
played by 34 underwater Combat Demolitions Units in WWII. 
That legacy has passed to Navy SEALs, who have played a key role 
in every conflict since their inception in 1962, most recently in sup- 
porting conventional forces and the operational deception plan for 
Desert Storm. More will be said later of their contributions and 

128 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

those of the Marine Expeditionary Units (Specials Operations Ca- 
pable), or MEU(SOC)s, to maritime interdiction, special recon- 
naissance, and direct action. Valuable assets to both theater and 
fleet commanders, both SEALs and MAGTF(SOC)s can be em- 
ployed independently or in concert with other forces to support the 
commander's plan. 

Analogies can be drawn between the status and utility of 
MEU(SOC)s and the Air Force Special Operations (Low Level 
Qualified) aircraft and crews. Although the aircraft and crews are 
conventional forces assigned to the Military Airlift Command 
(MAC), they operate in support of SOF. This relationship illus- 
trates, perhaps better than any other, the complementary roles of 
conventional and special operations forces. 


In the post-Vietnam era, funding for SOF was reduced by 95 
percent from its Vietnam high. The SOF force structure largely dis- 
appeared and SOF capabilities atrophied. This cyclical "going out 
of business sale" at the end of each conflict is a reflection of a sys- 
temic dysfunction. As Sam Sarkesian (author of Organizational 
Strategies in Low Intensity Conflicts) and others have noted, the 
American military structure has always resisted SOF. SOF's nature 
placed it outside the organizational essence of the Services and, 
unlike the armor, aviation, submarine, and other communities, 
SOF lacked a constituency among the military hierarchy. In the af- 
termath of Vietnam, there was an understandable desire on the 
part of the Services to return their focus to those things which we 
did well, such as scenarios involving a conventional war in Eu- 
rope. The result was that SOF did not compete well for funds in the 
normal budget cycle. 

The rise of international terrorism in the 1970s sparked some in- 
terest in resurrecting our special operations capabilities, and Gen- 
eral Meyer, then Chief of Staff of the Army, authorized the forma- 
tion of an Army counterterrorist unit. The most significant impe- 
tus, however, was the April 1980 failed Iranian hostage rescue at- 
tempt. This disaster highlighted the compelling need for special 

Perspectives in Warfighting 129 

Marine Corps University 

operations capabilities, despite Service resistance. Most of the mo- 
mentum for this renaissance, however, originated in the Congress. 
In contrast, SOF proponents in the Pentagon were few. Conse- 
quently, as the SOF budget rose from $440 million to $1.1 billion 
annually between 1981 and 1986, the Services repeatedly repro- 
grammed this proportionately modest SOF money, e.g., for SOF 
aircraft, into other accounts. Other problems were also apparent: 
SOF operations were hindered by their lack of interoperability 
with their own Services and with the SOF of other Services, SOF 
personnel had limited career opportunities, and there was no cen- 
tralized advocate for SOF within the Department of Defense 
(DoD). All of these manifestations of Service rejection kept the is- 
sue on the Congressional agenda. In 1986 and 1987, the 99th Con- 
gress acted decisively, directing numerous changes within the 
DoD to address weaknesses in our ability to conduct special oper- 
ations and low-intensity conflict. 

The Navy - Marine Team Acts 

Even before the advent of the Goldwater-Nichols DoD 
Reorganization and the Nunn-Cohen Act, leaders within the naval 
establishment had realized that the structure and capabilities of 
forward-deployed naval units needed to be reviewed. With vision 
from both Navy and Marine leaders and input from Marines and 
SEALs in the Fleet, 18 missions were identified and the concept of 
adding a special operations capability for deployed units was de- 
veloped. Many of these missions, such as amphibious raids and 
show-of-force operations, had been Navy-Marine staples for 
centuries. Other missions, which included clandestine rescue oper- 
ations and in-extremis hostage rescue, required refined staff proce- 
dures and introduced new tactics and techniques. The overhaul of 
our capabilities was both extensive and expensive. Over $1 million 
was committed in supplemental equipment purchases for each 
MEU, not to mention time and training costs. 

With this heightened interest in the LIC environment, the 
USMC Small Wars Manual was republished and challenges on the 
low end of the spectrum received additional emphasis. Thus, the 
efforts to develop the training, obtain the equipment, and perfect 

130 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

the techniques which characterize maritime SOC units predate not 
only the formation of United States Special Operations Command, 
but the Congressional initiatives as well. 

The Congress Acts 

By 1986, Congressional patience with Service stonewalling was 
wearing thin. The Nation's SOF capability was anemic and, for the 
first time since 1947, Congress directed the formation of a unified 
command, despite strenuous objections from DoD. The Nunn- 
Cohen Act (PL-99-661) mandated several significant changes with- 
in the Department of Defense with regards to Special Operations 
and Low-Intensity Conflict. Since the primary focus of this paper 
is on the former, the following discussion will focus on the three 
major points which are germane to special operations. 

Oversight and Advocacy 

The Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Op- 
erations and Low-Intensity Conflict, OASD(SO/LIC), was created 
to provide both oversight and advocacy for SO/LIC concerns with- 
in the civilian arenas of government. The initial DoD response 
was simply to delay filling the billet. 

To assist in overcoming bureaucratic inertia, the law further in- 
structed that the first ASD(SO/LIC) be given direct access to the 
Secretary of Defense. Even though the concerns of the ASD(SO/ 
LIC) are functional, the present ASD is part of the regionally-or- 
ganized office of the Under Secretary for Policy. This structure is 
unlike other functional ASDs, such as the ASD for Public Affairs. 

Major Force Program 11 

To correct the problem of reprogramming of SOF funds within 
the Pentagon, Congress directed the establishment of an 11th cate- 
gory in the Defense budget, Major Force Program 11. It further di- 
rected that Commander-in-Chief Special Operations Command 
(CINCSOC) be designated as the "head of agency" with the re- 
sponsibility to construct his own budget. As the Acquisition Exec- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 131 

Marine Corps University 

utive, CINCSOC is now in his second Program Objectives Memo- 
randum (POM) cycle and is responsible for a budget that recently 
crested at $3 billion. 

Establish Special Operations Command 

The law also directed the establishment of the USSOCOM, 
which was activated in 1987. It further assigned specific forces to 
USCINCSOC. USSOCOM provides a venue for the concerns of 
Special Operations Forces and an avenue for their expertise to the 
Joint Staff and the Commanders of the Unified Combatant Com- 



USSOCOM, located at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, was 
created as the permanent command to prepare and deploy SOF to 
the theater commands. Specifically, USSOCOM has three Service 
components, each of which is a major command: the United States 
Army Special Operations Command (USASOC), located at Fort 
Bragg, North Carolina; the Naval Special Warfare Command 
(NAVSPECWARCOM), located at the Naval Amphibious Base, 
Coronado, California; and the Air Force Special Operations Com- 
mand (AFSCO), located at Hurlburt Field, Florida. The fourth 
component is the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), lo- 
cated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. 

The balance of this paper will concern itself only with the Navy 
SOF and Marine SOC forces. 

Maritime SOF - Naval Special Warfare 

The Naval Special Warfare Command is responsible for all con- 
tinental U.S. based Active and Reserve Naval Special Warfare 
forces. These forces, comprising SEAL Teams, SEAL Delivery Ve- 
hicle Teams (SDVT) and Special Boat Units (SBU), conduct Naval 
Special Warfare (NSW) operations in support of both Fleet and 

132 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Joint Commanders. The component commands, Naval Special 
Warfare Group One (NAVSPECWARGRUONE), Coronado, Cal- 
ifornia, and Naval Special Warfare Group Two (NAVSPEC- 
WARGRUTWO), Little Creek, Virginia, exercise Operational Con- 
trol over assigned forces. Accordingly, NAVSPECWARGRUONE 
forces are geographically oriented to support the Pacific Command 
(PACOM) and Special Operations Command Pacific (SOCPAC) 
requirements while NAVSPECWARGRUTWO forces are geo- 
graphically oriented to support the Atlantic Command (LANTCOM) 
and Special Operations Command Atlantic (SOCLANT) require- 

Consequently, Naval Special Warfare, as a fundamental naval 
warfare mission area, must be prepared to conduct sea control and 
power projection missions. A consistent requirement for NSW is to 
support Fleet and Joint Commanders in specific roles worldwide. 
Often the Maritime Special Operations and sea-based SOC forces 
work jointly to accomplish specific tasking in support of high pri- 
ority national security missions, e.g., counternarcotics. 

Indeed, counternarcotic operations are well suited for Maritime 
Special Operation and sea-based SOC forces. NSW forces as well 
as Marines have been and will continue to be involved in 
counternarcotics - a high-priority national security mission for 
our armed forces. Maritime forces composed of SEALs, SBUs, and 
Marines often work together in the Andean region in support of 
counternarcotic Deployments For Training (DFT) and Mobile 
Training Teams (MTT), where we seek to enhance the effective- 
ness of host-nation law enforcement and military activities against 
powerful and well entrenched trafficking organizations. 

Naturally, in Desert Shield/Storm, SEALs performed numerous 
maritime missions supporting conventional forces and SOFs. De- 
tails of many of the operations still remain classified but in general 
they include: reconnaissance missions of Kuwaiti beaches for a 
possible Marine assault, intelligence gathering of Iraqi troop and 
vehicle movements prior to the battle for Khajfl, deception mis- 
sions on Kuwaiti beaches during the early phase of Desert Storm, 
combat search and rescue, and direct action operations to seize en- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 133 

Marine Corps University 

emy-held islands and offshore oil platforms. 

Maritime SOC - Marine Air-Ground Task Forces (SOC) 

Inasmuch as MAGTF(SOC)s are not SOF, they are not assigned 
to USSOCOM, but USSOCOM assists by setting tasks and stand- 
ards for MEU(SOC) training. Ties between USSOCOM and the 
Marines have been further strengthened by the routine assignment 
of Marines to USSOCOM. 

That the MEU(SOC) developed before and distinct from the 
special operations community is scarcely surprising. Whereas 
USSOCOM was created in response to resistance from the Army, 
Navy, and Air Force to special operations, the amphibious ele- 
ments of the Navy-Marine Corps team had foreseen the require- 
ment for rapidly responsive, flexible instruments of military power. 
The nature of amphibious operations demands such a culture and 
we have a heritage of jointly pioneeering whatever is necessary to 
get the job done, e.g., naval gunfire, amphibious vehicles, vertical 
envelopment, etc. 

During 1987-1988, Marines and sailors activated two MAGTFs 
in 48 hours for service with Operation Earnest Will (Kuwaiti tank- 
er reflagging). After training while en route, these forces on arrival 
provided security for two mobile sea bases, MTTs to 35 ships, 
armed aerial reconnaissance and escort for 11 convoys and 10 
minesweeper transits through vital sea lanes. During a punitive 
raid carried out against the Iranian Sasson Gas-Oil platform, these 
Marines worked with Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams 
and surface craft in a highly successful mission that was described 
as a textbook example of Navy-Marine teamwork. 

The versatility of the MAGTF(SOC) concept has been repeatedly 
validated in recent months by events requiring expertise in opera- 
tions across the continuum of conflict. The success of Operation 
Desert Storm has been widely acclaimed and the Marines who 
penetrated the Iraqi defensive line and reoccupied Kuwait have re- 
ceived due praise. Less well known was the extraordinary success of 
the afloat units in skillfully conducting the raids and feints, which 

134 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the list Century 

succeeded in keeping at least seven Iraqi divisions out of play. 

In contrast to these combat skills, Marines of the 24th 
MEU(SOC) made headlines for the manner in which they pro- 
tected and aided Kurdish refugees in Operation Provide Comfort. 
Other sailors and Marines participated in humanitarian assistance 
in Operation Sea Angel (Bangladesh) and Operation Fiery Vigil 
(Philippines). In meeting the needs of each of these diverse scena- 
rios, the Navy-Marine team has not only acquitted itself with dis- 
tinction, but done so in a manner that has made thousands of 
friends and raised the stature of our nation in the eyes of the devel- 
oping world. 

These examples unquestionably demonstrate that the 
MAGTF(SOC) is a highly competent fighting organization with 
tremendous versatility for humanitarian assistance. In between 
these operations, there is also the responsibility to safeguard 
American lives and conduct non-combatant evacuation opera- 
tions (NEO) when necessary. In Operation Sharp Edge (Liberia), 
Navy ships with embarked Marines demonstrated the value of or- 
ganic sustainability, remaining off the coast of Liberia for weeks. 
Their presence calmed the situation and provided a safe exit for 
over 2,400 non-combatants. A more dramatic NEO, Operation 
Eastern Exit (Somalia), required Marine helicopters to rendezvous 
at night with aerial tankers for two in-flight refuelings while racing 
to rescue 260 persons from our embassy in Somalia. This opera- 
tion is an excellent example of the utility of the enhanced 
capabilities that distinguish a MAGTF(SOC). 

The script for the above described operations could hardly have 
been more convincing or ambitious if it had been crafted by the 
Department of the Navy. Our success in meeting with such diverse, 
far-flung challenges with such a rapid tempo of operations is in- 
contestable proof the forward deployed Navy-Marine team is more 
than ready as the force of choice in a difficult and unpredictable 

Perspectives in Warfighting 135 

Marine Corps University 

The Challenge: The Maritime Venue 

Maritime forces have been employed in many of the developing 
nations of the world and it is likely that these regions, particularly 
the Middle East and Southeast Asia, will become even more im- 
portant to us in the future. While the world's littoral regions have 
always been economically important as seaports for the transship- 
ment of raw materials and manufactured goods, demographers in- 
dicate that the world's population has shifted to these regions as 

Likewise, the National Military Security Strategy notes that the 
end of the bipolar confrontation will lessen the restraints on unrest 
throughout the world. Nationalism, ethnic tensions, and religious 
strife have all fueled violence and provided headlines. The result is 
growing instability in regions of significant political and economic 
interest to the U.S. The world has changed and so must the strategy 
that will guide the military into the 90s and beyond. As was stated 
by Adm Jonathan T. Howe, Commander of U.S. Naval Forces Eu- 
rope, in a recent interview at his headquarters in Naples, "we have 
studied the future as best we can by looking at history and 

The Answer: Maritime Forces 

The diverse capabilities and important contributions of mari- 
time Special Operations Forces and sea-based forces have been 
amply demonstrated in recent history. In Operation Just Cause 
(Panama), maritime SOF units played major operational roles. 
The continuing reconstruction of Panama, Operation Promote 
Liberty, relies heavily upon civil affairs expertise drawn from both 
the active and reserve components. During Operation Earnest Will 
(Kuwaiti tanker reflagging), sea-based forces of mine countermeas- 
ures units, small surface combatants, Naval Special Warfare 
forces, and Marines demonstrated the use and utility of maritime 
forces in support of our National Security Strategy. In Operation 
Desert Shield/Storm, all of these forces were employed in support 
of conventional as well as special operations. 

136 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Thus, in the 1990s three trends will likely accelerate in signifi- 
cance: (1) increasing instability within the Soviet Union and in are- 
as contiguous to it; (2) rising global economic tensions as a result 
of enhanced interdependence; and (3) growing turmoil in the de- 
veloping world. Based on these trends, a National Military Strate- 
gy for the 1990s is being developed and the future of maritime SOF 
and sea-based SOC forces must adjust to new roles. 


Accordingly, dealing with broader somewhat more ambiguous 
threats requires a defense strategy that deters and defeats aggres- 
sion at all levels of conflict in a changing global environment. Sec- 
retary Cheney has established the following major elements of 
U.S. defense strategy, in each of which maritime SOF and sea- 
based SOC forces will play a valuable role: 

Strategic deterrence and defense 

Given ongoing Soviet nuclear modernization, the U.S. must 
maintain diverse, survivable and highly capable offensive nucle- 
ar forces. But we should also pursue a defense system for global 
protection against limited ballistic missile strikes -- whatever their 
source. To underscore this last point, the Proliferation Counter- 
measures Working Group, an internal Pentagon body, has begun 
a major study into the threat posed by upgrades of Scud surface-to- 
surface missiles, Scud exports by the Soviet Union, and other bal- 
listic missile proliferation in the developing world. Importantly, 
Maritime SOF and sea-based forces are two of just a few available 
instruments for destroying an adversary's surface-to-surface nucle- 
ar, biological, chemical weapons capabilities. Equally important, 
Maritime SOF special reconnaissance and direct action capa- 
bilties can be a force multiplier by targeting critical nodes in the lo- 
gistic lines and command control capabilities for strategic re- 

Forward Presence 

Although the changing global environment allows us to reduce 

Perspectives in Warfighting 137 

Marine Corps University 

our permanent foreign deployments, some U.S. forces must remain 
deployed overseas in areas of U.S. interest. The forward presence 
of U.S. forces makes for more credible deterrence, promotes re- 
gional stability and provides us an initial capability for crisis re- 
sponse and escalation control. Maritime SOF and sea-based forces 
can be a principal player in achieving greater regional stability 
through a wide range of ongoing nation-building internal defense 
activities, and military-to-military programs, which constitute a de 
facto forward presence. Not only are these forces cost-effective, but 
because of their low profile, they can provide an acceptable alter- 
native in delicate situations where a larger or more obvious force 
presence would be politically unpalatable. For example, Maritime 
SOF and SOC forces currently deployed and providing a forward 
presence include: Amphibious Ready Groups (SEALs and Marines) in 
PACOM and LANTCOM; NSW (SEALs and SBUs) in the Philip- 
pines/Guam, Panama, and Europe. 

Crisis Response 

U.S. conventional forces must be able to respond to short notice 
regional crises and contingencies that threaten U.S. interests. That 
requirement will guide the stationing, size and capabilities of U.S. 
conventional forces. Maritime SOF and MEU(SOC)s have dem- 
onstrated their utility as supporting elements to conventional 
forces in recent crises including Operations Desert Shield/Desert 
Storm, Operation Just Cause (Panama), Operation Earnest Will, 
the Philippines, Liberia, Peru, and El Salvador. Recognizing that 
their geographic advantage may mean that deployed MEU(SOC) 
forces may arrive at a crisis scene before designated SOF, detailed 
procedures have been worked out to ensure that the MEU(SOC) 
can effectively support the SOF on arrival and that equipment, 
supplies, and techniques are interoperable. These procedures are 
evaluated in scenario-tested exercises, the most recent Crisis Inter- 
action Requirements Exercise (CIREX) having been conducted 
with the Joint Special Operations Command and the 24th MEU(SOC) 
in October 1991. 

Force Reconstitution 

A significant consideration in general war scenarios is the re- 

138 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the list Century 

quirement for reconstitution. Although a global war against Soviet 
and Soviet-backed forces has become far less likely, we must main- 
tain the ability to reconstitute a larger force structure if a resurgent 
threat of massive conflict returns. Reconstitution is a time consum- 
ing process, during which maritime forces have historically bought 
time and raised domestic morale by conducting sabotage and wag- 
ing unconventional warfare. This requires us to retain those fea- 
tures of force capability that are most difficult to reconstitute, such 
as, quality personnel and a capable U.S. industrial and technology 
base. To meet this challenge, the relatively modest Active Compo- 
nent of sea-based SOF/SOC force structure must be maintained. 
In fact, reconstituting maritime SOF/SOC is difficult due to long 
lead times for developing mature SOF operators and units and for 
acquiring the necessary operational expertise. 

Therefore, in a volatile and turbulent world, where rapid change 
is the only reliable norm, well trained and equipped sea-based and 
maritime SOF forces are a versatile instrument of national policy. 
Their flexibility, size, ease of deployment, forward deployment, 
and experience around the globe make them ideally suited for lim- 
ited contingencies, valuable adjuncts to larger conventional ac- 
tions, or in support of DoD peacetime activities. 


President Bush is committed to active engagement in the world. 
But we must also recognize that we do not have the fiscal resources 
or political will to respond to every crisis or injustice. As the con- 
cept of containment becomes less relevant, the need for a replace- 
ment that emphasizes selective engagement becomes increasingly 

Additionally, a policy for the environment short of war should 
also provide a conceptual framework for the coordinated employ- 
ment of all elements of national power. Inasmuch as this policy 
would focus on security issues in pre-conflict activities, it is of par- 
ticular interest to naval units who are so frequently called upon to 
respond to situations at the low end of the spectrum, such as mari- 
time interdiction of narcotics trafficking, nation assistance, 

Perspectives in Warfighting 139 

Marine Corps University 

peacekeeping operations, non-combatant evacuation operations, 
and other peacetime contingency operations. 

In general, our policy for the environment short of war preserves 
some aspects of our Cold War security policy, for example, encour- 
aging market economies and democratic regimes, as well as two 
important means to attain these objectives: effective alliances and 
coordinated interagency effort. Contrary to the past, however, 
when the USSR was practically the sole focus of security planning 
and everything else was treated as a lesser included case, the Unit- 
ed States must now prepare itself for the distinctive characteristics 
of regional and lesser conflicts unconstrained by superpower 
geopolitical competition. 

Systematic Approach Required 

Our policy should emphasize the selective pursuit of oppor- 
tunities to enhance regional stability, defuse nascent crises, and 
support the growth of representative governments and market 
economies. Of particular importance to naval forces, it should seek 
to increase leverage from the coordinated use of available political, 
economic, and military resources. This is significant because the 
economic infrastructure in many developing areas is so poorly de- 
veloped that it is difficult to achieve the stability necessary for or- 
derly change without concomitant efforts in the areas of health 
care, veterinary medicine, argicultural methods, etc. While de- 
ployed units routinely address some of these needs in peacetime 
and emergency relief is provided in response to disasters, a more 
systematic approach is required if we are to incorporate the skills 
and experience of USAID, Commerce, Justice, etc. Interagency co- 
operation, in Washington, in the embassies, and in the field, is es- 
sential to redressing grievances which give rise to instability. Al- 
though several initiatives have been studied, few solutions appear 

Interagency Cooperation 

One area where interagency cooperation has already proved 
fruitful has been the assitance the Marine Corps has received from 

140 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

the FBI. Realizing that the population of the world's urban centers 
are growing exponentially, the training of the Maritime Special 
Purpose Force within each MAGTF(SOC) has benefitted from 
realistic live-fire training which has been conducted in cities 
across America with the assistance of the FBI. Under the Training 
Assistance to the Marine Corps (TAMACOR), the FBI provides 
Special Agents to the Commandant and each of the Fleet Marine 
Force commanders to assist specifically with the training of the 
MAGTF(SOC) in individual skills, special target training, and ur- 
ban environments. 


Successful implementation of our policy for the environment 
short of war requires that the United States be proficient in four se- 
curity mission areas: 

• diplomacy and support for diplomacy; 

• pre-crisis activities; 

• force projection and crisis response; and, 

• post-crisis activities. 

Proficiency in these four areas would improve our early warning 
capabilities, our ability to respond to crises, our capacity to build 
ad hoc coalitions, and our ability to extend the impact of our mili- 
tary actions. Proficiency in these mission areas also reinforces the 
precept that force should be used only as part of a larger political- 
military strategy designed to follow up military success with other 
actions needed to secure long-term political objectives. 

Low-Intensity Conflict 

This expansive term encompases virtually all political-military 
confrontations above routine, peaceful competition and below the 
threshold of conventional war. There are no clear Clausewitzian 
centers of gravity, at least not in terms of terrain or the enemy's 
forces these are usually long-term struggles for legitimacy. Threats 
lack clear definition and call for flexible, comprehensive solutions 
that have political, military, and economic dimensions. Sea-based 

Perspectives in Warfighting 141 

Marine Corps University 

forces are frequently the ideal military component in these scena- 
rios, as they possess intrinsic flexibility and self-contained, versa- 
tile logistic capabilities. Their significant military potential is nor- 
mally reserved for use in support of political measures. There are, 
however, other scenarios in which military power features more 

Military Operations Short of War 

These situations, such as Operation Just Cause (Panama), typi- 
cally require more conventional applications of force and are gen- 
erally confined to short periods of time. The contributions of the 
SEALs in conducting combat swimmer operations and disabling 
the Panamanian Navy, destroying Gen Noriega's aircraft, and 
searching for Gen Noriega are only now being revealed. 

General War 

The traditional activities of Special Operations Forces, as 
embodied in Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, Uncon- 
ventional Warfare, etc., do not change. However, in general war 
these activities are executed in support of the theater CinC's strate- 
gic plan. The contribution of sea-based special operations person- 
nel in supporting the maritime interdiction effort was but one of 
many examples of the vital contributions made by these forces in 
Desert Shield/Storm. 

DoD supports our policy for the environment short of war 
through forward presence and crisis response, key pillars of the 
new defense strategy. DoD's contribution includes the multitude of 
things that U.S. military units provide — from coalition training 
to peacekeeping, from security assistance to armed response - 
which could enhance regional security on a daily basis. Our na- 
tional security policy should be both protective and pro-active, se- 
lective and coordinated. In a time of declining force structure and 
more ambiguous threats, it is important to obtain increased lever- 
age from available military assets. Our policy requires economy- 
of-force strategies which buttress diplomatic efforts to counter re- 

142 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

gional threats through prudent, selective use of military assets be- 
fore, during, and after crises. 

While the missions associated with the environment short of war 
are not unprecedented for DoD, they have not been a major focus 
of defense planning during the past 45 years. The ongoing transi- 
tion to a multipolar environment requires the integration of peace- 
time activities into the restructuring of our defense forces to meet 
the challenges of the 1990s. 


1. Weapons of Mass Destruction. Nations, and sub-national 
groups such as drug cartels and terrorist groups, will continue to 
attempt to acquire weapons of mass destruction. The preemptive 
destruction of these sytems will become a strategic priority. Given 
the importance of this inevitable mission and the need for preci- 
sion, we should continue to hone the skills and push the techno- 
logical envelope for equipment necessary to prepare our maritime 
forces for employment in this area. 

2. Use of Discriminate Force. Conventional weapons will con- 
tinue to increase in range and lethality. To minimize casualties, es- 
pecially in urban areas, U.S. forces must continue to refine tech- 
niques and the technology which allows us to use discriminate 
force in countering this threat. While space-based systems may of- 
fer promise. Maritime SOF and SOC forces will continue to play a 
key role in the near term and a complementary one in the more 
distant future. 

3. Develop PSYOP Capability. PSYOP is an essential compo- 
nent of any operational plan, preceding, during, and after the fight. 
Presently, the Naval Services rely upon the Army for this capabili- 
ty but, if the Corps is to be fully capable of "conduct of such land 
operations as may be essential to the prosecution of a naval cam- 
paign," a PSYOP capability is an appropriate and necessary com- 
plement to our civil affairs structure. 

4. Expand Officer Exchange Programs. Despite the military 

Perspectives in Warfighting 143 

Marine Corps University 

complexities they entail, multi-national military operations are a 
most desirable strategy in mobilizing political and financial sup- 
port for regional conflicts. This complex undertaking will require 
the development and refinement of coalition warfare. This type of 
joint operation underscores the wisdom of assigning more officers 
to live and work with foreign military organizations in which cul- 
tural and language differences must be addressed well in advance. 
Diplomats can construct a coalition in a relatively short period; 
military interoperability requires extensive groundwork and train- 
ing to reach a high degree of mutual understanding and 

5. Develop Civil-Military Interface for LIC. Many of the most 
likely scenarios involving the use of U.S. military forces cannot be 
resolved by military means alone, e.g., LIC scenarios, humanitari- 
an assistance, etc. We need to develop an interagency organization 
similar to the Vietnam-era CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolu- 
tionary Development) to serve in the host nation and a small 
interagency mechanism within the NSC. 

6. Create Interagency Rapid Response Cell. To respond to crisis 
situations, an interagency fly-away team could be deployed to pro- 
vide liaison between the country team and the unified commander 
and between the country team and the Washington headquarters 
of the appropriate departments and agencies. 


The world has changed and continues to change. Americans tra- 
ditionally have expressed a desire to influence world events and 
the international security environment, whether in response to nat- 
ural disasters or to assist friends in a struggle toward democracy. 

Beyond inevitable economic challenges, there will also be mili- 
tary conflicts that require the skilled and measured application of 
force. The bipolar world, with its unambiguous threats, is gone. A 
multi-polar world may eventually emerge, but for the present, we 
are the sole superpower. To defend our ideals, our interests, and 

144 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

our friends, we must contend with instability, insurrections, and at- 
tempts to impose regional hegemonies. 

Micro-force options, such as maritime SOF and SOC units, are 
not only effective, but are within the limits of political will and fis- 
cal reality. These forces, when prudently employed with other gen- 
eral purpose forces, have proven themselves capable of providing 
valuable and broadly applicable capabilities for the execution of 
post-containment policies and strategies. 


Boykin, Col William G. 1991. "Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Legisla- 
tion: Why Was it Passed and Have the Voids Been Filled?" Carlisle, PA: Army War College. 

Cohen, Eliot A. 1978. Commandos and Politicans: Elite Military Units in Modern 
Democracies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 

Cruger, J. King. "6th Fleet to Stay in Med, Howe Says." European Stars and Stripes, No- 
vember 8, 1991, p. 3. 

Garrett, H. Lawrence, et al, 1991. "The Way Ahead." Marine Corps Gazette, April 1991 
Supplement: pp. 2-13. 

Gray, AM. "Planning for the Future: A Policy of Stability." Strategic Review, Winter 1991: 
pp. 9-16. 

Hess, James D. "The Best Spokesman ... in the Corps." Sea Power (November 1991): pp. 8, 
9, 12-16. 

Komer, Robert W. 1986. Bureaucracy at War. Boulder, CO: Praeger. 

Koren, Henry LT. 1988. "Congress Wades into Special Operations" Parameters, 18, No. 4: 
pp. 62-74. 

Krepinevich, Andrew F. 1986. The Army and Vietnam. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity Press. 

; " 

Manwaring, Max, ed. 1991. Uncomfortable Wars. Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 

Nichol, Jim. 1990. "Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict: U.S. Progress and 
Problems." Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, The Library of Congress. 

Sarkesian, Sam C. 1984. "Organizational Strategies in Low Intensity Conflicts" in Special 
Operations in U.S. Strategy, Frank R. Barrett, et al., editors. Washington, DC: NDU Press. 

Starr, Barbara. "Third World SSM Threat Studied." Jane 's Defense Weekly, November 16, 
1991: p. 9. 

Thompson, Loren B., ed. 1989. Low Intensity Conflict. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 145 

Marine Corps University 


Chief of Naval Operations. 1991. "Naval Special Warfare Plan 1992" Department of the 
Navy, Washington, DC. 

House Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Defense Strategy and the DoD Budget Request. 
102d Congress, 2d Session, Washington, DC. 

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity 
Conflict. 1991. SOF Status Report. Washington, DC. 

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operation and Low-Intensity Con- 
flict. "Peacetime Engagement" (Working Paper-Draft 4.0). October 31, 1991. Washington, 

146 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

Chapter III 

The Impact of 

Advanced Weapons 

Proliferation on Combat 


Theodore Clark 

Thomas Harvey 



he proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass 
destruction (nuclear, chemical, and biological ~ NBC) in the de- 
veloping world may be the single greatest threat to peace in the 
1990s. Currently, 15 to 20 developing countries have or are at- 
tempting to acquire a ballistic missile capability. i With a short 
flight time, high probability of penetration, and the potential for 
combination with increasingly advanced munitions, ballistic mis- 
siles have great appeal to Third World defense planners. 

1 Janne Nolan claims 16 developing countries possess ballistic missiles and 12 countries are 
developing or producing these systems domestically, (see Janne Nolan. Trappings of Power: 
Ballistic Missiles in the Third World. Washington, D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1991, 8.) 

Seth Carus asserts 22 developing countries currently possess or are actively attempting to 
acquire ballistic missiles, though only 15 have operational missile forces. They include: Af- 
ghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt India, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Ku- 
wait, Libya, North Korea, North Yemen, Pakistan, South Korea, South Yemen, Syria, South 
Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan. Carus believes 13 countries are actively designing and 
building ballistic missiles, (see W. Seth Carus, Ballistic Missiles in Modern Conflict. New York: 
Center for Strategic and International Studies, 1990, 1.) 

Anthony Cordesman cites Defense Secretary Richard Cheney's remarks just before the 
Iraqi invasion. According to Cheney, by the year 2000, approximately 15 developing 
countries will be able to produce their own missiles. Six of these will have IRBM 
capabilities with the multiple warhead possibilities which will include weapons of mass de- 
struction. (Anthony H. Cordesman, Weapons of Mass Destruction in the Middle East. London: 
Brasseys, 1991, 1.) 

Perspectives in Warfighting 147 

Marine Corps University 

In addition, the likelihood of progressive improvements in 
range, accuracy, rates of fire, and varieties available will enhance 
the utility of ballistic missiles in future conflicts. No longer used 
only as weapons of terror against civilian-city targets, ballistic mis- 
siles armed with new, more deadly warheads will play a much 
greater role in developing nations' overall warfighting strategy 
while creating greater security problems for American forces 
abroad. The increasing accuracy and destructiveness of these 
weapons systems are providing the Third World with a genuine 
counterforce potential which will have far-reaching consequences 
for U.S. power projection forces in the future. 

Many of the developing countries that are procuring new sur- 
face-to-surface missile (SSM) forces are engaged in a parallel pro- 
liferation effort to obtain weapons of mass destruction. There are 
numerous indications that nuclear proliferation in the Third 
World is accelerating despite many countries' signatures on the 
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, 
Algeria, and Syria are pursuing nuclear weapons programs while 
Argentina and Brazil have the capability to produce weapons 
grade uranium. 2 Israel, India and Pakistan already have a de- 
clared nuclear weapons arsenal of growing proportions while Iraq 
nearly achieved this goal. 3 

Adding to this nuclear instability is the demise of the Soviet 
Union. In late December 1991, Italian officials asserted that Rus- 
sian uranium and plutonium were being sold abroad to countries 
"like" Libya and Iraq by former KGB and GRU agents in order to 

2 Argentina and Brazil have initiated a series of mutual inspections of each others facilities 
thus alleviating some of the tension in the area. In addition, Argentina has officially ended 
development of the controversial Condor missile program which it was developing with 
Egypt and Iraq during the late 1980s. 

3 Pakistan is estimated to have five to 10 warheads. India 40 to 60 nuclear warheads. ("Mis- 
sile Proliferation, Regional Contingency Planning, and Alternative TMD Architectures." 
Institute For Foreign Policy Analysis, Study Report, 14 June 1991, 37.) India reported that 
Pakistan has 10 nuclear warheads, (see FBIS-NES-91-219, 13 Nov 1991, 50.) 

148 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

raise hard currency. 4 There is a growing fear that nuclear techni- 
cians from the former USSR will seek employment in countries 
which actively seek nuclear weapons programs in exchange for 
high salaries. 

As these worrisome developments gather speed in the develop- 
ing world, U.S. national security strategy is in a state of evolution 
with the disappearance of Cold War verities. In place of the long- 
standing and predictable divisions of East-West conflict, a more 
uncertain and fluid world situation has arisen. As Professor Samu- 
el Huntington has observed, "The emerging world is likely to lack 
the clarity and stability of the cold war, and to be a more jungle- 
like world of multiple dangers, hidden traps, unpleasant surprises 
and moral ambiguities." 5 The persistent proliferation efforts of 
the developing world represent a major source of this projected in- 

Even in the midst of this global flux, nearly all U.S. 
policymakers and military leaders acknowledge the inevitability of 
major cutbacks in standing U.S. military forces, a large portion of 
which will come from units currently deployed overseas. The closing 
of facilities in the Philippines, the drawdown of U.S. military units 
in Europe, Korea, and possibly Japan, foreshadow the importance 
of a major reworking of the concept of forward basing. The past re- 
liance on substantial U.S. forces at forward staging areas across the 
globe to respond to crises will have to give way in part to rapidly 
deployable forces stationed in the U.S. and to self-contained ele- 
ments associated with the U.S. Navy. 

The Marine Corps, which has always taken pride in its structuring 

4 "Soviet uranium, plutonium for sale, Italian official says." Boston Globe, 31 Dec 1991, 8. 
(Romano Dolce, assistant public prosecutor said on state television that nuclear material 
was headed to countries like Iraq and Libya. A Milan newspaper claims former KGB and 
GRU agents have been smuggling nuclear material abroad to raise cash. This article did 
not, however, specify exactly which countries were contacted by the Soviet agents nor did it 
specify if the agents were operating for their own personal interests or whether they were 
working for the Soviet government or certain republic. 

5 Eric Schmitt, "Arms Panel Chief Outlines Military Cuts," The New York Times, January 7, 
1992, All. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 149 

Marine Corps University 

as a "force in readiness," will fill a valuable gap in the military con- 
tinuum between home-based U.S. reaction forces and permanently 
deployed forward troops. With its flexible task organization and its 
integrated combined arms structure, a Marine Air-Ground Task 
Force (MAGTF) can be drawn from one of the three active Marine 
Expeditionary Forces (MEFs) to provide for most regional con- 
tingencies. Yet the continued relevance of the Marine Corps to 
U.S. national security policy depends in large measure on its abili- 
ty to counter the most serious global threats through adjustment of 
operational doctrine; in the present period, the lethality of SSMs 
and weapons of mass destruction constitute such an overarching 

To gain an understanding of the Marine Corps' capacity to re- 
spond to this challenge, it is important first to examine in more de- 
tail the anatomy of the proliferation issue, as well as the regional 
political dynamics which have fueled this threat, and then consid- 
er adaptations in employment doctrine set forth by the Marine 
Corps in response. 


While the proliferation of SSMs and weapons of mass destruc- 
tion extends worldwide, nowhere is the problem more acute than 
in the countries located from the Maghreb to the Fertile Crescent. 
Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab 
Emirates, Yemen, and Syria all possess or are seeking ballistic mis- 
siles. Other countries just outside this region which also play an 
important role in both the worldwide and regional proliferation 
trends include Pakistan, India, Turkey, and perhaps the newly in- 
dependent Soviet republics. Of the six developing nations which 
have fired ballistic missiles during hostilities, all are from this 
troubled region or on the immediate periphery. With Iraq's re- 
sounding defeat, three countries in the Middle East now stand out 
as the most prominent trend-setting proliferators - Syria, Israel, 
and Iran. 


Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


In return for Syria's participation in the Gulf War effort, Saudi 
Arabia and other Gulf nations pledged over $2 billion in support 
to Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad. With this new bankroll and 
without a defense industry of his own, President Assad rushed to 
place large military orders with the USSR, 6 Czechoslovakia, 7 and 
North Korea. In March 1991, North Korea agreed to deliver 150 
Scud-Cs to Syria. 8 The first shipment of 24 missiles and mobile 
launchers was detected in early March, with two more shipments 
arriving later in the year to bring the total to 100. Steven Emerson 
suggest that these new Scud-Cs are capable of carrying chemical 
weapons without any adverse effect on the missile's performance. 9 

In addition, China has come under increasing suspicion of ex- 
porting components and even entire systems of its M-9 SSM to 
Syria. To this effect, newspaper reports in the summer and fall of 
1991 indicated that an unknown quantity of M-9 SSMs was en 
route to Cyprus with Syria as its final destination. 10 

Syrian Weapons of Mass Destruction: 

Syria initiated a major chemical and biological weapons prog- 
ram following the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon. n By the late 

6 Barbara Opall, "Syria to Buy $2 Billion in Soviet Weapons." Defense News, 8 Jul 1991, 3 and 

f Alon Pinkas, "Syria to Get 300 Tanks from Czechoslovakia," The Jerusalem Post, 15 Sep 

8 The Scud-C has a 400-mile range (double a Scud-B's range), and can carry a payload of 
1,500 pounds (three times that of the Scud-B). The upgraded Scud-C is reportedly more ac- 
curate than the Scud-B. 

9 Emerson, 12. Emerson also points out that the Syrians have developed successfully a 
chemical warhead for the Scud-C with the assistance of the North Koreans. 

W Bill Gertz, "China, North Korea Secretly Deliver Missiles to Mideast via Cyprus," The 
Washington Times, 2 Jul 1991. (In October, The Wall Street Journal claimed Syria had pur- 
chased 24 M-9s from China, see "Peace Conference Puzzle," 25 Oct 1991, A14). Pakistan has 
received M-ll SSMs as well from China. 

W Cordesman, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 145. 
j Perspectives in Warfighting 151 

Marine Corps University 

1980s, Syria had at least two chemical weapons facilities in use, 
one near Damascus and another at Horns. 12 Janne Nolan con- 
tends that these two facilities may have been built with foreign as- 
sistance from western and/or eastern Europe. 13 The Syrian mili- 
tary has been stockpiling nerve gas and other chemical agents for 
several years, making Syria's chemical weapons capability one of 
the greatest in the region. The Syrians have developed a wide range 
of systems to deliver their chemical munitions. For example, 
the Syrians can probably deliver chemical weapons by various 
means, including aircraft, artillery shells, Frog-7 rockets, Scud-Bs, 
Scud-Cs, and highly accurate SS-21 SSMs. 

Syria's biological weapons program is not as advanced, but Syr- 
ia is reported to have at least one major biological weapons facili- 
ty. I4 Biological weapons programs, however, are particularly diffi- 
cult to detect since any pharmaceutical industry or fermentation 
plant can be used to mass produce biological agents. 15 Equally 
troubling is the potential for vaccines and penicillin to be made 
into viruses or toxins. Because biological weapons can be married 
to the same delivery systems as chemical weapons, they offer de- 
veloping countries a tempting weapons potential. 

In conjunction with its chemical and biological weapons pro- 
grams, Syria has only recently demonstrated an active interest in 
acquiring nuclear technology. On November 28, 1991, China re- 
vealed that it was preparing to sell a mini-neutron source reactor to 
the IAEA for transfer to Syria. 16 According to Wu Jianmin, the 
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, the 30 kilowatt reactor can 
only be used for isotope production and neutron activation analy- 

12 Cordesman, Weapons of Mass Destruction, 145. "Peace Conference Puzzle," The Wall Street 
Journal, 25 Oct 1991, A14. Janne Nolan, Trappings of Power, 76. 

13 Nolan, Trappings of Power, 11. 

14 Cordesman, Weapons, 145. 

15 Ibid. 7. 

16 "Beijing to Sell Mini-Reactor for Transfer to Syria," The Jerusalem Post, 29 Nov 1991, 24. 

152 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

sis. 17 The Israelis reacted strongly to this new development, but 
the Shamir government was unsuccessful in prodding Washington 
to help cancel the deal. 


Due to Israel's small size, and the concentration of both its popu- 
lation and industrial centers, combined with a reliance on national 
mobilization, a Syrian ballistic missile attack against Israel could 
be devastating. By using chemical and biological weapons against 
urban areas, the Syrians could effectively immobilize large seg- 
ments of the Israeli population. For example, during the Iraqi 
Scud attacks on Israel, Ze'ev Schiff notes that it took only a few 
SSMs to shut down Tel Aviv's businesses, to scatter residents, and 
to slow Russian immigration dramatically. 18 

More precise short range missiles, such as the SS-21 could be 
used to delay the Israeli Air Force's ability to engage Syrian forces 
in the critical first stages of any war. Since Tel Aviv and Damascus 
are each less than 60 miles from their common border, short range 
missiles could have a strategic military impact. In this sense, Syr- 
ia's combined efforts to improve its SSM forces while simulta- 
neously enhancing its NBC capabilities make President Assad's 
goal of achieving military parity with Israel appear possible and 
particularly worrisome. 

Israeli SSMs and ATBMs: 

While Israel's SSM force is superior to any of its Arab neighbors, 
Israeli defense planners face a troubling fact — Saddam Hussein 

17 The Jerusalem Post, 29 Nov 1991, 24. 

18 Ze'ev Schiff, "Israel After The War," 2 Foreign Affairs 1991: 26. During the Iran-Iraq War, 
the constant Iraqi missile attacks on Teheran, combined with the fear of chemical weapons 
produced massive evacuations from the Iranian capital. Some reports claim over one mil- 
lion Iranians fled Teheran during the War of Cities. Rumours circulated that senior Iranian 
officials, including Khomeini had fled Teheran, (see Anthony H. Cordesman and Abraham 
R. Wagner, Lessons of Modern Warfare: Volume II, The Iran-Iraq War, Boulder: Westview 
Press, 1988, 367.) 

Perspectives in Warfighting 153 

Marine Corps University 

was willing to attack Israel despite the possibility of an overwhelm- 
ing counter-strike. By not attacking Iraq during the war, Israel's 
doctrine of reprisal was left weakened. In response, many Israeli 
officials, headed by Defense Minister Moshe Arens, have called 
for increased active and passive defensive measures. Others have 
suggested that Israel should focus on smaller, less ambitious pro- 
grams such as the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) which were 
used by the U.S. Marines during the war. 

Israel's active defenses are comprised of several components, in- 
cluding satellites and defensive missile systems. Reconnaissance 
satellites play an integral part in early warning efforts. According 
to the Tel Aviv newspaper Ma'ariv on 8 August 1991: "Israel will 
soon have the capability of launching reconnaissance satellites 
into space for intelligence purposes." 19 

In terms of missile systems, the Israelis are considering modify- 
ing the I Hawk for a limited ATBM capability, continuing their use 
of the Patriot ATBM, and accelerating their efforts to opera- 
tionalize the Arrow ATBM. Overall, the Israelis have envisioned a 
layered defense system which could include the Arrow, the AB-10, 
and a hypervelocity gun, but financial restrictions will make it dif- 
ficult to put all three layers into place. 20 

The Arrow ATBM is designed for medium to high altitude inter- 
cepts. At a speed in excess of Mach 9, the Arrow is designed to in- 
tercept targets at much higher altitudes than the current Patriot 
missile system, thus diminishing the threat from chemically- 
armed SSMs. Some military experts, such as Leonard Spector, be- 
lieve that U.S.-Israeli cooperation in developing defensive missile 
technologies can only aid Israel in advancing its offensive missile 
forces. 21 Others, such as Thomas G. Mahnken suggest that 

19 'Imaneu'el Rosen, "Reconnaissance Satellites Capability 'Soon'," Tel Aviv Ma'ariv, in He- 
brew, 8 Aug 1991, L, in FBIS-NES-91-154, 9 Aug 1991, 29. 

20 Layer one would consist of the Arrow for threats in the 20-40km range in altitude; layer 
two would incorporate the AB-10 for 20 KM altitude threats; layer three would contain a 
hypervelocity gun with ranges of 10-20 km. 

21 Spector, "Nonproliferation - After the Bomb Has Spread," 10. 

154 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

ATBMs may reduce the demand for SSMs by increasing their vul- 

Mahnken overlooks the fact that Syria is unlikely to receive any 
advanced ATBM know-how from the U.S. Such exclusion could 
heighten Syria's sense of vulnerability to Israeli defensive missile 
developments. But should an arms control regime come into effect 
in the region, ATBMs may become more available to Arab 
countries and play an important stabilizing role. — 

Israel's Nuclear Deterrent and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction: 

Israel's nuclear arsenal is substantial, but its exact numbers re- 
main shrouded in secrecy. 23 Through smuggling, 24 actively seek- 
ing supercomputers from the West, and development of an ad- 
vanced indigenous program, the Israelis continue their prolifera- 
tion efforts. Some military experts even believe that Israel de- 
ployed many of its nuclear weapons on mobile launchers aboard 
Jericho I SSMs sometime in the early to mid-1970s. By remaining 
outside the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), the Arab nations 
point to Israel as the true aggressor in the area. 

Following Iraq's use of chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq 
War, Israel quietly renewed its chemical warfare facilities located 
south of Dimona. There also are unconfirmed reports of a biologi- 
cal weapons research facility at the same location. 

■ 2 Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel are the only countries in the region that currently pos- 
' sess the Patriot. Kuwait, the UAE, and Bahrain have expressed interest in acquiring these 
^ systems. Before its defeat in the war, Iraq claimed to be working on its own ATBM called the 

Fao Fao. (see W. Seth Cams, Ballistic Missiles in Modern Conflict, 81.) 

23 Although experts do not agree to exact numbers, most seem to put the figures between 60 
I and 200 nuclear weapons, (see Spector, 150. Cordesman, Weapons, 129. Seymour M. Hersh 
■ claims in his new book The Samson Option that the total is 300; see Joel Brinkley "Book on 
* Israel's Arsenal Says It Exceeds Estimates by US," The New York Times, 20 Oct 1991, 1 and 


^ Leonard Spector suggests that Israel may have illegally obtained 810 high speed switches 
(krytons) from the US from 1981-83 which could be used to improve design and yield of Is- 
rael's nuclear weapons. See Cordesman, Weapons, Ml. 

•/ Perspectives in Warfighting 155 


Marine Corps University 


Iranian SSMs: 

By the end of March 1988, Iran announced it was near the start 
of production of its own rocket. The missile, known as the Oghab, 
is a short-range system with only a 40 to 45 kilometer range. 25 R e_ 
lying on Chinese technology, the Iranians have been able to devel- 
op three short-range systems: the Oghab, the Shahm-2, and the 

Though militarily insignificant during the Iran-Iraq War due to 
its short range and small warhead size, the Oghab signalled a 
growing trend towards indigenous weapons capabilities in the de- 
veloping world. As Seth Carus commented in 1990, only Iran and 
Israel are known to have placed indigenously designed missiles 
into service. Later, Iran developed a 130-mile range SSM known as 
the IRAN-130 which was first fired against Iraq in 1988. 26 

In addition to its indigenous efforts, Iran has turned to other de- 
veloping countries for assistance in producing and obtaining new 
SSMs. As the former USSR under Mikhail Gorbachev became less 
willing to aid Iran, North Korea became a greater military trading 
partner. In late 1988, a secret North Korean-Iranian military com- 
mission was established to encourage military cooperation be- 
tween the two countries. By early 1990, this new relationship was 
reflected in Iran's purchase of 20 Scud-Bs. 27 Following a second 
set of negotiations in late 1990, North Korean military technical 
advisers began arriving in Iran and as Steven Emerson of The Wall 

25 Cordesman and Wagner, 230. The Oghab is 230mm diameter, 4820mm long, weighs 
320kg and carries a 70kg warhead. Iran also has displayed another rocket known as 
"Nazeat" which is 355mm in diameter, 590mm long, weighs 950kg and has a 180kg warhead, 
(see footnote 44 on page 524 in Cordesman and Wagner.) Also see W. Seth Carus, 20-21. 

26 Cordesman and Wagner, 367. The IRAN-130, however, was not produced in large num- 
bers due to its poor accuracy and unreliability. 

27 Emerson, The Wall Street Journal, 12. 

156 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Street Journal, claims, the North Koreans began converting a mis- 
sile maintenance facility into a missile production site. 28 

The North Korean-Iranian military cooperation extends even 
further. North Korea has been training Iranian technicians at 
North Korean missile production and launch facilities. According 
to Emerson's article, western intelligence agencies know Scud-C 
missile parts have arrived in Iran from North Korea as well. In 
May 1991, U.S. satellites confirmed this fact by tracking a Scud-C 
launch from Iran. The value of the arms deal between the two 
countries appears to be approximately $3 billion, which the 
Iranians are paying for with oil. 

Iranian Weapons of Mass Destruction: 

Iran still is coping with the Ayatollah Khomeini's anti-moderni- 
zation campaign of 1979. 29 Though a reversal of policy came in 
1981 following Iraq's invasion of Iran, the Iran-Iraq War ham- 
pered Iranian attempts to restart nuclear power and weapons proj- 
ects. 30 The one exception was the Teheran Nuclear Research 
Center where most of the Iranian specialists remained. 

In 1984, a new nuclear research center was established at 
Isfahon 31 and work on the Bushehr plant was restarted. In 1987, 
Iran concluded a $5.5 million contract with Argentina to receive 
non-weapons grade enriched uranium fuel for their research reac- 
tor in Teheran. 32 In late 1989, construction began on a plant for 
producing uranium concentrate from uranium ore in Iran's Yazd 
province and new plants have been reported under development. 

28 ibid. 

29 All work on the Bushehr nuclear power plant and the Darkhouin reactor site ended and 
many Iranian technicians fled the country. 

30 There were at least seven attacks on Iranian nuclear projects during the war, see 
Cordesman, Weapons, 105. 

31 In June 1990, the Chinese formalized a cooperative agreement to develop a small re- 
search reactor at Isfahon. (see Sciolino, The New York Times, 31 Oct 1991, A7). 

32 Spector, The Spread of Nuclear Weapons 1989-90: Nuclear Ambitions, 207. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 157 

Marine Corps University 

Iran has turned to numerous countries to restart construction of 
its 50-75 percent complete nuclear plant at Bushehr. In February 

1990, a Spanish newspaper reported that a Spanish firm was in- 
volved in negotiations to complete two nuclear power plants at 
Bushehr. 33 The following month, the USSR and South Korea 
were alleged to be considering work on nuclear power plants in 
Iran. 34 Apparently none of these negotiations succeeded. In July 

1991, the German Economics Minister Juergen Moellemann vis- 
ited Teheran, where a joint working group to study the issue of the 
Bushehr nuclear plant was discussed. 35 Iran has also sought as- 
sistance from India, Pakistan, Brazil, 36 and France. 

More recently, China's assistance with Iran's nuclear warhead 
program has caused considerable concern in the West. U.S. intelli- 
gence officials believe that China has provided Iran with the nec- 
essary equipment to produce a nuclear bomb. 37 Since June 1990, 
top Chinese scientists have been training Iranian technicians and 
scientists and recently, American officials learned that China had 
provided Iran with a calutron. 38 

33 Cordesman, Weapons, 106. 

34 ibid. 

35 "Paper Urges FRG to Complete Nuclear Plant," Teheran IRNA in English, 0703 GMT, 2 
Jul 1991, in FBIS-NES-91-129, 2 Jul 1991, 49. It remains unclear whether the Germans will 
continue work or not. See "Bushehr Nuclear Plant to Be Completed," Teheran Voice of the 
Islamic Republic of Iran First Program Network in Persian, 0930 GMT, 17 Sep 1991, in 
FBIS-NES-91-180, 17 Sep 1991, 67-68. Also see "Second Official Denies Iran Seeking Nucle- 
ar Arms," Beijing Xinhua in English, 0121 GMT, 7 Nov 1991, in FBIS-CHI-91-216, 7 Nov 
1991, 20. 

36 Iran is seeking German nuclear technology which Brazil possesses. However, treaties be- 
tween Brazil and Germany forbid transfer of nuclear technology without Germany's ac- 
ceptance, (see FRG Nuclear Technology From Brazil Sought," Berlin ADN in German, 
0204 GMT, 3 Dec 1991, in FBIS-NES-91-232, 3 Dec 1991, 41.) 

37 R Jeffrey Smith, "Teheran Nuclear Buildup is Cited." from The Washington Post appear- 
ing in The Boston Globe, 30 Oct 1991, 2. See also The Wall Street Journal, 31 Oct 1991, 1, and 
Elaine Sciolino, "Report Says Iran Seeks Atomic Arms," The New York Times, 31 Oct 1991, 


38 Sciolino, A7. Louise Lief with Stephen J. Hedges, "The Growing Nuclear Fold," US News 
and World Report, 25 Nov 1991, 42. 

158 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Though the calutron may be used for peaceful purposes, Elaine 
Sciolino states that some U.S. officials are concerned that the 
Iranians will try to copy the calutron and mass produce it for 
weapons purposes. 39 The Chinese appear to be involved in 
another project with the Iranians to modify Silkworm missiles to 
carry nuclear warheads. 40 

In 1987, CIA Director William Webster warned that Iran had a 
chemical weapons capability which included mustard gas and 
blood agents. 41 According to Anthony Cordesman, Iran's chemi- 
cal weapons material and technology have come from a variety of 
countries including India, North Korea, Germany, and China. 42 
Some of these same countries are aiding Iran in developing ballis- 
tic missile systems which are capable of carrying chemical weap- 
ons. Iran's leaders have made no effort to conceal their interests in 
chemical and biological weapons. 

Since enduring widespread chemical attacks by Iraq, Iran has 
continued to prepare for future chemical warfare. 43 Though far 
more questionable, there is some evidence that Iran is undertaking 
a biological weapons program to accompany its nuclear and 
chemical development programs. 44 


The proliferation trends in Syria, Israel, and Iran indicate that 

39 Sciolino, A7. Calutrons are used to enrich uranium. 

40 "Iran's Reach for a Nuclear Sword," The Boston Globe (editorial), 13 Nov 1991, 18. "Bagh- 
dad Paper: China Supplying Enriched Uranium," In Baghad^4/-7ra^ in Arabic, 9 Nov 1991, 
1 and 7, in FBIS-NES-91-219, 13 Nov 1991, 54-55. 

41 Cordesman, Weapons, 83. Blood agents include hydrogen cyanide, phosgene gas, and/or 
chlorine gas. Some of these chemical munitions were used by Iran during the last two years 
of the Iran-Iraq War. See Cordesman and Wagner, 513. 

42 Cordesman, Weapons, 84. 

43 See "Exercises Simulate Chemical Attack," Teheran Voice of the Islamic Republic of 
Iran First Program Network in Persian, 1630 GMT, 18 Nov 1991, in FBIS-NES-91-223, 19 
Nov 1991, 52. 

44 See Cordesman, Weapons, 84, and Cordesman and Wagner, 513. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 159 

Marine Corps University 

efforts to control the proliferation of missiles and NBC technology 
continue to fall short. There is a growing readiness in developing 
countries to cooperate among themselves in order to circumvent 
the developed countries' control regimes. These cooperative ven- 
tures, it is important to note, are not only regional arrangements, 
but truly worldwide in scope. 

Further advances in science and technology, both in the devel- 
oped and developing world, will create possibilities for deadlier 
weapons from an ever-increasing variety of sources. Missile tech- 
nology and advanced weapons systems which were once the exclu- 
sive domain of the U.S. and the USSR, are now being produced in 
the Third World. This trend is likely to continue and expand in the 

The current delivery of North Korean Scud-Cs to Syria, India 
and Israel's satellite launches, Pakistan's nuclear warhead pro- 
gram, Israel's ATBM efforts and significant nuclear arsenal, and 
Iran and Syria's open desire for a nuclear capability are all signs 
that a rapidly changing security environment is unfolding in the 
1990s. Combined with other possible improvements, such as 
maneuverable ballistic missiles equipped with improved inertial 
guidance, preprogrammed courses, or ground controlled steering, 
45 and use of advanced inertial navigation systems (INS) that 
make SSMs extremely accurate, the U.S. and its allies face some 
daunting possible conflict scenarios for the future. 46 In addition 
to improved SSMs, new weapons systems such as the cruise missile 
may become an integral part of developing countries' arsenals. 47 
According to some military experts, cruise missiles are less com- 
plex, cheaper, and more accurate than SSMs. 48 With access to 

45 George Leopold, "Future Missiles Will Outpace Scuds," Defense News, 4 Feb 1991, 38. 
Also see Seth Cams interview in Defense News, 4 Feb 1991, 46. 

46 Mahnken and Hoyt, 256. 

47 Seth Cams believes the cmise missile will create the greatest danger in the 1990s. Cams, 

48 Mahnken and Hoyt, 256. Cmise missiles do have some negative qualities: they are slower 
than ballistic missiles and can be intercepted by SAMs. Also Cams, 39. 

160 Perspectives in Warftghting 

Into the 21st Century 

new technologies, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), 
Third World countries will have a means of delivering these mis- 
siles with very high accuracies. According to Seth Carus, GPS re- 
ceivers cost only a few thousand dollars and refine cruise missiles 
accuracies to within 100 meters of the intended target. 49 

The triumvirate of Syria-Israel-Iran may be the best index of 
how quickly and in what form proliferation efforts will manifest 
themselves in the 1990s. Syria and Israel remain deadlocked in a 
spiraling arms race which neither country can afford, and yet nei- 
ther can unilaterally choose to halt without a peace agreement. In 
many ways, it is Syria's ally, Iran, that sits in the enviable position 
of rising power in the region. Just how the Islamic nation decides 
to position itself militarily will have significant repercussions for 
Israel, Syria, most of the Gulf nations and the U.S. If present 
trends are any indication, SSMs and weapons of mass destruction 
will play a major role in Iran's attempt to reassert itself in the Per- 
sian Gulf region. 


In light of this global dispersion of advanced weapons 
technologies and the diffusion of potential threats likely to con- 
front the U.S. in the future, the proven power projection capability 
of the Marine Corps faces more daunting challenges than at virtu- 
ally any point in its history. While no change in doctrine or em- 
ployment techniques can completely nullify the impact of the 
emerging weapons technologies that have come to dominate mili- 
tary conflict, operational and doctrinal innovations can limit 
setbacks and losses. 

Doctrinally, the Marine Corps has turned to the concept of 
manuever warfare, as set forth in FMFM-1, Warfighting, as the ap- 
proach best-suited for conditions expected to prevail on the mod- 
ern battlefield. The emphasis on maneuver has been adopted as 

49 Cams, 39. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 161 

Marine Corps University 

the optimal means for depriving an opponent of massed targets for 
high-tech weapons and for avoiding needless battles of attrition 
against a numerically superior enemy. The application of this ap- 
proach entails an emphasis on surprise, rapid strikes, multiple si- 
multaneous attacks, flanking maneuvers, exploitation of vulner- 
abilities, and psychological operations to destroy the moral and 
physical balance of an enemy. 50 A primary aim of these tech- 
niques is to neutralize the effectiveness of high-threat weapons 
without necessarily having to destroy every delivery system or every 
weapons canister. 

The concept involves moving so swiftly and decisively that the 
enemies' will to fight collapses in the face of an overwhelming dis- 
play of U.S. mobility and firepower. Confronted with a fait 
accompli of American forces to its front, along its flanks, and in its 
rear area, a wavering enemy force could be expected to opt for sur- 
render over pitched battle. FMFM-1, Warfighting underscores the 
philosophical distance between maneuver warfare and the histori- 
cally-preeminent notion of attrition: 

The object of maneuver is not so much to destroy 
physically as it is to shatter the enemy's cohesion, or- 
ganization, command, and psychological balance. 
Successful maneuver depends on the ability to identi- 
fy and exploit enemy weakness, not simply on the ex- 
penditure of superior might. 51 

In the Gulf War, the philosophy of maneuver warfare was 
operationalized with stunning efficiency by the Marine Corps. The 
1st and 2d Divisions executed offensive thrusts at poorly defended 
points near the center of the Iraqi line in Kuwait and captured or 
destroyed far larger enemy forces. Commenting on this operation, 
one Marine general provided a capsule of maneuver warfare's es- 
sence with his statement that, "Our focus was not on destroying 

50 LtCol G. I. Wilson, "The Gulf War, Maneuver Warfare, and the Operational Art" Marine 
Corps Gazette, June 1991, 23. 

51 U.S. Marine Corps, FMFM-1, Warfighting, Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 1989, 29. 

162 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the list Century 

everything. Our focus was on the Iraqi mind and getting in behind 
them." 52 

Another effective aspect of Marine employment techniques in 
the Gulf lay in the preparation for amphibious assaults into Ku- 
wait. While such operations were eventually ruled out because of 
the delays attendant on mine-clearing operations along the coast, 
the mere prospect of such an attack forced a major diversion of 
Iraqi forces to guard against a seafront landing. The success of this 
diversion underscored the multi-dimensional strength of the Ma- 
rine Corps, with its capacity to conduct land, sea, and air opera- 
tions with equal effect. British historian B.H. Liddell-Hart was 
struck by this diversity of function and believed the Marines mer- 
ited the title of a three-in-one Service. 53 

Yet even this capacity to keep an opponent off-balance through 
multiple avenues of attack does not eliminate the vulnerability of 
amphibious forces at sea. The unavoidable concentration of am- 
phibious forces on naval vessels for transport and deployment 
purposes leaves them open to attack by high-tech guided muni- 
tions, by SSMs, and even by relatively primitive defensive systems 
such as mines. Increasingly, the developing world's efforts to ac- 
quire sophisticated weapons systems has permitted it to target spe- 
cific military concentrations with disruptive accuracy, posing a sig- 
nificant obstacle to Marine amphibious forces. 

To counter this threat, the Marines have developed operational 
techniques to minimize the exposure of amphibious task forces 
(ATF) to advanced weapons systems and increase the weight of 
uncertainty in the minds of enemy planners attempting to discern 
the focal point of an attack. The major innovation in this arena 
has been the development and refinement of an over-the-horizon 
capability. This technique allows ships to remain beyond the easy 
reach of enemy shore and air defenses while permitting rapid de- 

52 Wilson, 24. 

53 B.H. Liddell-Hart, "Marines and Strategy," Marine Corps Gazette, May 1990, 25 (reprint of 
an article from July 1960). 

Perspectives in Warfighting 163 

Marine Corps University 

ployment of amphibious forces ashore by helicopters and air- 
cushioned landing craft (LCAC). 

The increased flexibility and force protection provided by an 
over-the-horizon orientation is suggested in the following descrip- 
tion of capabilities by Bernard Trainor: 

To put the modern landing in perspective, consider that 
a modern Marine amphibious force equipped with heli- 
copters and LCACs and embarked in 20-knot amphibi- 
ous shipping located 50 miles off Norfolk can overnight 
move and land anywhere from Myrtle Beach, SC, to 
Montauk Point on Long Island and never once appear 
on the horizon beforehand. 54 

More broadly, the U.S. military establishment in the past decade 
has placed greater emphasis on joint operations and phased de- 
ployments in order to highlight the strengths and offset the 
vulnerabilities of individual Services. The sequencing of military 
elements into a theater can be accomplished in a complementary 
manner so that differing capabilities reinforce and bolster one 
another, rather than compete for preeminence. 

Thus, the Marines are expected to benefit in the accomplish- 
ment of their mission objectives not only from their longstanding 
association with the Navy but also from their operation in an envi- 
ronment where the Air Force has suppressed high-tech air and 
ground threats and the Army has provided an array of units to re- 
inforce and augment the capabilities of Marine enabling forces. 

The coordination of assets underlying this approach rests on 
combined arms principles which have been espoused by the Ma- 
rine Corps for years. Further, the cooperation of interservice forces 
essential to success in combat have been clearly recognized by the 

54 LtGen Bernard Trainor, USMC(Ret), "A Force 'Employment 1 Capability," Marine Corps 
Gazette, May 1990, 36. 

164 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

command structure of the Marine Corps and have received 
validation in the Gulf War. As one Marine officer observed: 

For those who arrived in the Gulf in late August, the fol- 
low-on arrival of the 24th Infantry Division caused a 
large sigh of relief. And few Marines saw the Army VII 
Corps taking on the Republican Guards in southern Iraq 
as a threat to Marine roles and missions. 55 

In a similar vein, the Marines will benefit from the deployment 
of anti-tactical ballistic missiles (ATBMs) and other theater/tacti- 
cal missile defenses that result from research and development ef- 
forts now being conducted under the auspices of the Strategic 
Defense Initiative Organization and the Army. These efforts are 
expected to culminate in an advanced theater missile defense sys- 
tem by 1996. Such systems will provide cover for all theater forces 
located under their protective umbrella. 

In circumstances short of actual combat, the ability of the Ma- 
rines to loiter at sea in the geographical vicinity of crisis points is 
another valuable characteristic. Naval deployment permits a rapid 
response but positions forces beyond the reach of terrorist or state- 
controlled weapons of mass destruction. 

In addition, the positioning of amphibious forces in international 
waters reduces the potential for such forces to inflame a delicate 
regional balance or become a provocation in and of themselves, as 
might occur if they were deployed ashore prematurely. Given the 
sensitivity of many developing world leaders to the stationing of 
American forces within their borders, maritime basing can provide 
the proper balance between respect for these nationalist concerns 
and the need to safeguard the interests of the U.S. with rapid reac- 
tion forces. 

In all, the challenges posed by the build-up of advanced delivery 
systems and weapons of mass destruction in unstable regions of the 

55 R. Scott Moore, "The Army Plans Its Future," Marine Corps Gazette. January 1992, 49. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 165 

Marine Corps University 

world is a matter of serious concern but not a cause for despair. 
Acquisition does not imply the necessary skill to use these systems 
effectively nor does it supply the willingness to use such weapons 
in a rash or abrupt manner. This observation is especially true in a 
situation where regional leaders recognize that they could very 
likely be confronting U.S. military forces which have demon- 
strated an awesome mastery of the destructiveness of high-tech 
weapons systems. 

The Marine Corps has recognized this ambivalence in potential 
opponents and has accordingly aligned its operational doctrines to 
exploit the moral factor in combat through maneuver warfare. But 
the Marines do not simply count on the forebearance of hostile 
forces; they have also instituted deployment techniques which 
physically safeguard their forces in the event that such high-tech 
weapons are used against them. Such innovations, while not fool- 
proof and certainly subject to refinement, will nonetheless rein- 
force the continuing importance of the Marine Corps to U.S. na- 
tional security strategy even as the severity of the threat posed by 
missile technologies and weapons of mass destruction increases in 
the years ahead. 

166 Perspectives in Warfighting 

VA 50 -C65 1991a v. 1 
Conference on Naval 

Expeditionary Forces and 
Naval expeditionary forces 

and power projection 






QUANTICOVA 22134-5107 





Number Two 
Volume Two 




^ «^— ""'^^™ 

Marine Corps University 

Perspectives on Warfighting 

Number Two 

Volume Two 





4: |IP»Si« : J 

This revised and edited version is published by the Command and Staff Col- 
lege Foundation of Quantico, Va. through a grant from the General Gerald C. 
Thomas Endowment Fund. All rights reserved. No portion of this manuscript 
may be reproduced or stored in anyway except as authorized by law. Upon re- 
quest, active and reserve military units will be freely given permission to repro- 
duce this issue to assist in their training. 

Copyright 1992 by the Command and Staff College Foundation 

Printed by the Marine Corps Association 
Box 1775 • Quantico, VA • 22134 

The Emblem of the U.S. Marine Corps depicted on the front cover is used courte- 
sy of The Triton Collection, New York, N.Y. This emblem is available as a full 
color print or poster for sale at the Marine Corps Association Bookstore. 

Into the 21st Century 

Editoral Policy 
Perspectives on Warfighting 


he Marine Corps University's Perspectives on Warfighting 
is a series of occasional papers, edited by The Marine Corps Uni- 
versity, funded by the Marine Corps Command and Staff College 
Foundation, and published by the Marine Corps Association. 

Funding and publication is available to scholars whose propo- 
sals are accepted based on their scholastic and experiential back- 
grounds and fulfillment of our editoral policy requirements. We 
require: (1) a focus on warfighting (2) relevance to the combat mis- 
sion of the Marine Corps (3) a basis of combat history and (4) high 
standard of scholarly research and writing. 

The Marine Corps University's Perspectives on Warfighting will be 
studies of the art of war. History must be the basis of all study of 
war because history is the record of success and failure. It is 
through the study of that record that we may deduce our tactics, 
operational art, and strategy for the future. Yet, though the basis of 
the series Perspectives on Warfighting is always history, they are not 
papers about history. They are papers about warfare, through 
which we may learn and prepare to fight. 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 



he Marine Corps University continues its series of scholarly 
papers on warfighting with the publishing of this two-volume set 
entitled Perspectives of Warfighting, Number Two. 

These papers are written by distinguished participants of the 
1991 Conference on Naval Expeditionary Forces and Power Pro- 
jection which was conducted at the Fletcher School of Law and 
Diplomacy (Tufts University) and co-sponsored by the Marine 
Corps University and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis. 

Volume One discusses the nature of conflict, emerging threats, 
and U.S. national security interests; forward deployed strategy and 
forces; and naval expeditionary forces, power projection, and combat 
missions. Volume Two continues with papers addressing naval ex- 
peditionary forces, power projection, and stability missions, and 
concludes with the 21st century and naval expeditionary forces: 
developing issues and constraining factors. 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

iiu iric £.131 



he observation that events in the world unfold faster than 
the ability to forge doctrinal adjustments would certainly seem to 
hold true in today's strategic environment. The edifice of the Cold 
War shuddered and then collapsed suddenly after two generations 
of Virtually unremitting crisis and conflict. In its wake, the fixed refer- 
ence points of U.S. national security policy have shifted dramati- 
cally. With no overarching opponent against which to focus strategic 
doctrine or to justify force structure and weapons procurement 
plans, U.S. policymakers must fashion a new national security 
strategy against a backdrop of ambiguous threats and diffuse chal- 

In an effort to contribute to this reshaping of U.S. national security 
doctrine and force structure, the international security studies 
program of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts 
University has sponsored over the last three years, an annual collo- 
quium to focus on the future status of each of the major military 
services. This two-volume publication of Perspectives on Warflghting 
is a product of the most recent conference in this series, which ad- 
dressed the roles and missions of naval expeditionary forces into 
the 21st century. The conference was co-sponsored by the Marine 
Corps University and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis and 
brought together experts and leading thinkers of the Marine Corps 
and naval expeditionary forces from the military, academia, the 
business sector and the press. Selected conference papers have 
been edited and published herein because of the valuable insight 
and contribution they make to the debate on future force structure 
and strategic priorities. 

While limited space does not permit a detailed recounting of all 
conclusions reached at this conference, a brief capsule of the un- 
derlined and recurring theme of the papers warrants emphasis: the 
Marine Corps, which has always taken pride in its structuring as a 
"Force-in-Readiness," fills a valuable gap in the military continu- 

Perspectives On Warflghting 

Marine Corps University 

urn between home-based U.S. reaction forces and permanently de- 
ployed forward troops. With its flexible task organization and its 
integrated combined arms structure, a Marine Air-Ground Task 
Force (MAGTF) can provide a quick response to most regional 
contingencies. While the MAGTF can be deployed by air, sea, or a 
combination thereof, the critical value of this force is its close asso- 
ciation with the U. S. Navy and its strong amphibious credentials. 

The starting point of any U.S. strategic analysis must recognize 
that this country, regardless of the configuration of power and 
threats confronting it will remain a nation bounded by oceans, 
with considerable maritime interests, both economic and military. 
As an extension of the naval arm, the Marine Corps provides criti- 
cal amphibious capability which can rapidly augment the U.S. 
presence in a region for the purposes of deterrence, compellence, 
defense, or simply "showing the flag." This amphibious capacity 
has provided, in the words of the late British historian B. H. 
Liddell-Hart, "the greatest strategic asset that a sea-based power 
possesses ... the U.S. Marine Corps is the best kind of fire extin- 
guisher, because of its flexibility, reliability, logistic simplicity, and 
relative economy." 

With the mission that it fulfills, the Marine Corps will accompany 
an important place in the array of military forces fielded by the 
United States well into the future. This two-volume publication 
provides a variety of perspectives on how the Marines can contin- 
ue to discharge its vital duties in an era of limited resources and 
projected military cutbacks. 

In organizing the conference and this publication, we gratefully 
acknowledge the support of General Carl E. Mundy, Jr., Comman- 
dant, USMC; General Alfred M. Gray, former Commandant, 
USMC; General Joseph P. Hoar, USMC, Commander of Central 
Command, who agreed to provide indispensible financial support 
for this undertaking; Brigadier General Peter Pace, USMC, cur- 
rently serving as the President, Marine Corps University; and the 
Marine Corps Command and Staff College Foundation who 
agreed to publish the conference papers. 

Perspectives On Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Table of Contents 

Volume Two 



Section I. Naval Expeditionary Forces, Power Projection, 1 

and Stability Missions 

Chapter I. Compellence and Escalation Control: The 5 

Value of Visible Forward Deployed Forces 
Dr. Richard Shultz 

Chapter II. Security Assistance, Humanitarian Assist- 35 
ance, and Related Operations 
LtGen H. C. Stackpole, III, USMC 

Chapter III. The Role of the U.N. in the Maintenance of 51 
World Order 
Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering 

Chapter IV. Naval Power Projection and Expeditionary 67 
Forces - A Western European Perspective 
Mr. David Nicholls 

Section II. The 21st Century and Naval Expeditionary 81 

Forces: Developing Issues and Constraining 

Chapter I. Emerging Technologies and Expeditionary 83 
Force Operations 
Dr. Jim Brooke 

Chapter II. Acquisition Priorities and R&D Strategies 99 

MajGen Robert Tiebout, USMC 

fives On Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Section I 

Naval Expeditionary Forces, 

Power Projection, and 

Stability Missions 


he wholesale transformation of the international setting 
has modified the conditions under which combat missions will be 
pursued, as outlined in the previous section, but the extent of 
change does not end there. Stability missions, which will increas- 
ingly occur in circumstances which overlap with those of low in- 
tensity conflict, will most likely grow in importance and frequency. 
Dr. Richard Shultz addresses three questions arising in this con- 
text: One, what are the parameters of the international security en- 
vironment of the years ahead? Two, what strategic concepts should 
guide the international security policy of the U.S. in the post-Cold 
War era? Three, how can naval expeditionary forces support these 
new strategic concepts? 

The author observes that the present era is likely to be characterized 
by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, ballistic mis- 
siles in the developing world, a continued buildup of conventional 
capabilities, and a focus on regional security problems. In concep- 
tual terms, future unrest will remain at the low end of the spectrum 
of conflict, ranging from regional limited conventional war to 
ethno-nationalistic strife. 

While four categories encompass the functions served by the use 
of force (defense, deterrence, compellence, and swaggering), 
compellence/power projection and peacetime engagement will 
move to the forefront in projected U.S. security designs. Peacetime 
engagement missions will be growing in importance as the U.S. 
seeks to establish new bilateral and multilateral arrangements to 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

regional stability. The presence of forward deployed forces and 
capabilities and the conduct of joint and combined exercises will 
be important to solidify these arrangements. 

Within this context, Marine expeditionary forces are configured 
and oriented to make an important contribution. A MAGTF provides 
a flexible combined-arms force that can be deployed rapidly and 
can be sustained from a sea base. The MAGTF thereby provides a 
compellent/power projection capability for maritime operations 
across a significant portion of the spectrum of conflict. Just as im- 
portant, MAGTFs possess a capacity for special operations, can 
be resupplied by Maritime Prepositioned Forces, and exploit the 
combat concepts of maneuver and surprise. 

LtGen Henry Stackpole, USMC, underscores the need for naval 
forces in a multipolar world as a critical element of U.S. national 
security strategy. Daily presence, political reinforcement, crisis 
control, intervention forces, freedom of action and a forcible entry 
option for the vast majority of the earth's relevant surface constitute 
essential elements in the implementation of U.S. strategy. 

The most influential and useful application of U.S. forces in the 
emerging security environment is a consciously fashioned political 
instrument applied in sophisticated combinations with other ele- 
ments of national power -- the leading edge of diplomacy in a 
sense. Naval forces are and have been uniquely suited to this role, 
but their effectiveness depends on their proximity to points of fric- 
tion. There is always an undeniable cost in maintaining a global 
crisis response capability, even in peacetime. Yet its worth to the 
U.S. far exceeds its cost since our history, according to the author, 
is a record of late response to international crises which result in 
the expenditure of much national treasure for cure rather than for 
prevention of such crises. 

The U.S. remains a maritime nation relying on sea lanes of com- 
munication for commerce and economic vitality. Economically, 
foreign affairs remain critically linked to the domestic welfare. De- 
sert Storm received the majority of media attention during the early 
part of this year. Although this military sequence was important to 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

U.S. national interests, other significant events demonstrated a ver- 
satile, flexible force capable not only of "power projection," but 
"assistance projection." These less publicized elements of naval 
activity included humanitarian actions in the Philippines, north- 
ern Iraq, and Bangladesh as well as evacuations of American citi- 
zens from Liberia and Somalia. 

Ambassador Thomas Pickering examines stability missions 
within the broader context of international coalition-building as 
required by his position as U.S. Permanent Representative to the 
United Nations. He observes that the new world order does not entail 
a surrender of U.S. sovereignty or a forfeiture of U.S. interests, but 
outlines new international channels through which to deter ag- 
gression as well as achieve peace and stability. In this regard, the 
U.S. is concerned with safeguarding two categories of interests: 
core security interests and values and principles that form interna- 
tional civil society. 

The role of the U.N. Security Council in furthering these goals is 
not all-encompassing or exclusive; even in the U.N. Charter, regional 
organizations are explicitly granted authority to resolve threats to 
peace and security before resorting to the Security Council. As is 
evident in the Middle East and Yugoslavia, regional stability is 
shaped primarily by parochial issues which may not easily suc- 
cumb to U.N. problem-solving or may unfold entirely as a matter 
of internal concern. There exists little consensus today on what 
conditions would justify intervention in the solely domestic affairs 
of another state. For this reason it is unlikely that international law 
will quickly mature to provide assured external guarantees for mi- 
nority rights or democratically elected governments. 

From a realistic perspective, U.S. pursuit of foreign policy objec- 
tives cannot be bound to an explicit grant of U.N. authority at all 
times. At best, the U.N. can deliver part of the solution through 
enhancement of legitimacy and flexibility of operations. But great 
strides need to be taken in defining individual nation respon- 
sibilities in terms of troop allocations, materiel, command authority, 
and Military Staff Committee participation. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

David Nicholls looks at the issue of future collective security co- 
operation from a European standpoint. He asserts that the Western 
European habit of working together and with the U.S. in many 
fields of politico-military endeavor is deep-rooted, but problems 
have arisen in fashioning collective responses to challenges be- 
yond the NATO area. European members of NATO have been 
much more willing to take part in peacekeeping operations under 
the auspices of the United Nations than in NATO-sanctioned op- 
erations. This same reluctance manifested itself in the recent Gulf 
War where European states coordinated their actions through the 
Western European Union rather than through NATO. 

Yet, there is still a role for collective defense as defined in 
NATO's new strategy, in that this also remains the principal basis 
for legitimizing national defense forces. Thus, NATO will continue 
to serve two vital functions: defining national force levels of Western 
European members of the Alliance; and providing a pool from 
which to draw forces for duties beyond the NATO area. 

In terms of European naval expeditionary forces, the author be- 
lieves that Britain and France have the political will to retain such 
forces, even with limited capabilities for autonomous action. Nei- 
ther country is willing to foreclose any options in the naval field 
which might compromise their residual interests, their status, or 
their national pride. 

Perspectives in Warfighting I 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter I 

Compellence and Escalation 

Control: The Value of 

Visible Forward Deployed Forces 


Dr. Richard Shultz 

ith the end of the Cold War, the international system has 
entered a period of great change. It is the third such occurrence in 
this century, the first two following WWI and WWII. With the end 
of each of these global conflicts, it has been widely assumed that 
the world would enter an era of peace and an end to conflict. Nations 
could then redirect their energies and spending priorities from 
defense and security to an array of other issues including economic 
development, natural resources, energy, food and population, and en- 

Consider the following predications found in both popular and 
scholarly publications as the 1980s came to a close. Changes in the 
international system were believed to point to the decline in the utility 
of military power and the use of force. This was a bold prognosis 
based on the assumption that the destructiveness of modern weapons 
made their use increasingly clumsy, highly lethal and hardly cost ef- 
fective. These arguments were not new and variations of them were 
proposed following WWI and WWII. 

The disutility of military power was part of a major change in the 
essence and structure of international politics brought about by the 
disintegration of superpower hegemony and the emergence of a 
multipolar-pluralistic international regime. In this new structure the 
relations among nations, it was postulated, were changing from those 
marked by conflicting national interests and independence to those 
characterized by economic interdependence, common interests, and 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

transnational cooperation. With changes in the modes of conflict and 
the sources of friction, non-security issues ~ economics, resources, en- 
ergy and the environment ~ were growing in importance, as security 
and military power recedes. A global paradigm, rather than a state- 
centric one, was viewed as in ascendancy. 

This optimism, at least temporarily, was undermined by Iraq's 
seizure of Kuwait and the war that followed. Indeed, following the 
war, the debate over the place and utility of military power shifted. 
The questions now center on what kinds of military capabilities 
the U.S. will require in the years ahead and what overarching stra- 
tegic concepts should guide their development and employment. 
However, with the failure of the coup in the Soviet Union and that 
country's rapid dissolution the pre-Gulf War arguments discussed 
above have also resurfaced in the debate over U.S. international 
security policy. 

With this as prologue, the following issues are addressed: One, 
what are the likely parameters of the international security envi- 
ronment of the years ahead and to what extent will change coin- 
cide with stability? Two, what strategic concepts should guide 
United States' international security policy and strategy in the 
post-Cold War era? For over four decades containment and 
deterrence served this purpose. What should replace them? Three, 
how can naval expeditionary forces support these new strategic 
concepts and requirements? 


The international security environment that existed since the latter 
half of the 1940s has come to an end. The failed coup in the Soviet 
Union was that country's death knell. However, while a new era has 
begun to unfold, it is unclear to what extent it will be characterized 
by stability, new forms of conflict, or both concurrently. Certainly, 
it was ironic that in the midst of discussions over the peace divi- 
dend, the U.S. fought a major war. 

What these two divergent events signal is an emerging interna- 
tional system that will experience stability and instability in the 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the list Century 

years ahead, within the larger context of uncertainty that has 
accompanied systemic change in the past. 1 Recent trends point in 
these contradictory directions. For example, with the collapse of 
the Soviet threat to the West and the end to its domination of East- 
ern Europe, core issues of the Cold War have been resolved and 
stability should ensue. It will, in terms of the security issues that 
dominated East-West relations since the late 1940s. However, even 
in this region, new forms of instability have already emerged. Will 
the ethnonationalistic conflict in Yugoslavia spread elsewhere in 
Eastern Europe and even to the Soviet Union as it unravels? 

Likewise, since the latter half of the 1980s, regional conflicts in 
Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and elsewhere have come to an end. 
There also has been an upsurge of democratically inspired move- 
ments challenging authoritarian regimes in various parts of the de- 
veloping world. Additionally, incipient democracies also give rise 
to previously repressed ethnic hostilities. Each of these events con- 
tributes to regional stability. At the same time, a major war took 
place in the Gulf, the Chinese government crushed the democratic 
movement in China, and various forms of low intensity conflict 
continued to occur in the Third World. 

What does this signal for the international security environment 
of the 1990s and beyond? On the one hand, it will hold 
opportunities to enhance and expand stability. The end of the 
Cold War provides options that should be pursued. On the other 
hand, it is equally important to recognize that during periods of 
great change, conflict and the use of military power are also 
realities. Furthermore, these dangers will be more ambiguous and 
difficult to plan for due to the uncertainty of the years ahead. 

Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and bid for regional hegemony dem- 

' A good example of the extent of uncertainty in periods of great international systemic 
change is the 1920s and early 1930s. Who could have predicted the far-reaching changes and 
global threats that eventually emerged. Indeed, it was believed that the world had entered a 
new age and no real threats to international stability were even remotely possible. This is 
not to suggest that anything comparable to what did transpire at the end of the 1930s is like- 
ly to occur in the future. Our point is that change and stability is only one possible alterna- 
tive international future. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 

onstrated that the end of the Cold War did not alter for all nations 
certain enduring and historically based approaches to power and 
the use of force. While some states will eschew military means in 
the name of higher principles in the years ahead, it is likely that 
others will not. Thus, the efficacy of military power will remain an 
arbiter when states disagree. While the rationale for its use and the 
ways in which it is employed will assume new forms that are not 
yet clear, the resort to military force, as Clausewitz observed long 
ago, will remain an instrument of statecraft. 

As we look to the years ahead, what developments are likely to 
contribute to the possibility of crisis and instability? Several 
emerging trends can be discerned. 


Over the last two decades the worldwide proliferation of arms has 
been a major factor contributing to regional instability. Many na- 
tions in the developing world have acquired a range of advanced 
weapons in significant quantities. It is likely that we will continue 
to see the diffusion of sophisticated weaponry to various regions of 
the world. 

Within this context, most worrisome is the proliferation of mass 
destruction weapons. Most of the Cold War period was marked by 
essential nuclear bipolarity with a limited number of other stable 
states possessing nuclear capabilities. The years ahead will see in- 
creasing nuclear multipolarity, with proliferation by at least three 
states ~ Iran, Iraq, and North Korea -- that may seek regional he- 
gemony. Although it was defeated in the Gulf War, Iraq endeavors to 
conceal and preserve its nuclear weapons-related facilities for the 
future, even as the United Nations takes steps to rid Baghdad of 

However, what the UN has uncovered thus far in Iraq reveals 
several disquieting facts. First, Iraq was much closer to the produc- 
tion of a nuclear weapon than the U.S. government predicted, 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

which put it at as near as five to ten years in the future. 2 Second, 
despite its status as a party to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), 
Iraq covertly carried out an impressive nuclear weapons program. 
Finally. Baghdad took advantage of clandestine nuclear-related 
transfers from suppliers in the West to advance its program. Each 
of these developments points to the difficulty of preventing prolif- 

As we entered the 1990s, 12 nations ~ Israel, Libya, Brazil, Ar- 
gentina. South Korea, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Taiwan, 
South Africa, and India ~ have either achieved de facto nuclear 
weapon status or taken important steps in that direction. 3 Other 
states, like Algeria, strive to join their ranks. These developments 
are taking place in regions of the world with deeply ingrained and 
long term hostilities. 

In addition to nuclear weapons, the last decade also saw the pro- 
liferation of chemical and biological weapons (CBW). Further- 
more, during the Iran-Iraq War, chemical weapons, produced do- 
mestically, were employed in combat by Baghdad with regularity. 
According to an Iranian report, Iraq first used chemical weapons 
in 1983. and "subsequently employed them on 195 additional occa- 
sions before hostilities ceased, with the number of chemical at- 
tacks increasing during 1987 and 1988." 4 Why Iraq did not use its 
chemical weapons during the Gulf War is uncertain. While they 
probably could not have employed aircraft due to coalition air su- 
periority, the delivery of chemical weapons by artillery was an op- 
tion. 5 It is estimated that during the current decade between 15-20 
states will acquire a CBW capability and the means to deliver them. 

- See "Testimony of Reginald Bartholomew. Under Secretary of State for Security Assist- 
ance. Science, and Technology." Committee on Governmental Affairs. U.S. Senate. 101st 
Cong.. 1st Sess.. May 18. 1989! 

p Leonard S. Spector. Nuclear Ambitions (Boulder. CO: Westview Press, 1990). Part I. 

4 Ibid., p. 189. 

5 For an interesting discussion of several hypotheses see The International Institute for 
Strategic Studies. Strategic Survey 1990-1991 (London: Brassey's, 1991). pp. 76-78. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Marine Corps University 


U.N. inspection teams have reported that "Iraq had 30 Scud missiles 
fitted with chemical warheads ... designed to explode on impact." 
They did not use them, according to the report, "due to the dangers 
of moving warheads under heavy fire." 6 Chemical weapons deliv- 
ered by ballistic missiles provide states with terror weapons that 
can be used beyond the battlefield against unprotected cities. 

Janne Nolan has observed that "in the late 1980s, ballistic mis- 
siles became the currency of a new international security environ- 
ment, as a number of developing countries heralded their entry 
into the missile age." She points out that most of those who are ac- 
quiring this capability are "in regions of chronic tension." 7 Both 
Iran and Iraq used missiles against one another's cities during 
their eight-year war. Such a precedent was not encouraging and 
Iraq employed ballistic missiles in the same way against Israel and 
Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. 

Currently, 16 nations in the Third World have ballistic missiles 
in their inventories and, as Spector points out, "a number of dis- 
turbing developments in the area of missile proliferation took 
place during 1989 and the first half of 1990. 8 These include: One, 
"a number of developing countries ... fully integrating such systems 
into their military forces." Two, these states continue to "extend the 
[range] of their missiles." Three, "missile transfers - involving 
complete systems, as well as components and technology -- have 
continued apace, despite the efforts of a number of countries to 
stem the flow through the 1987 Missile Technology Control Re- 
gime (MTCR)." Finally, several Third World states, who are the 

6 Holly Porteous, "Ridding Iraq of CW to Take Two Years," Jane's Defense Weekly (Septem- 
ber 28, 1991), p. 557. 

1 Janne Nolan, "Missile Mania: Some Rules for the Game," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scien- 
tists (May 1990), p. 27. Also see Seth Cams, "Missiles in the Middle East: A New Threat to 
Stability," Policy Focus: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (June 1988). 

° Spector, Nuclear Ambitions, p. 24. 

10 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

object of the MTCR, are finding ways to "cooperate on the devel- 
opment and production of surface-to-surface missiles." 9 


The international security environment of the 1990s will also con- 
tinue to experience conventional arms proliferation. During the 
1970s-1980s, this allowed at least 15 Third World nations to devel- 
op large and modern conventional armies based on a heavy 
armored division concept. For example, in the Middle East, Egypt, 
Iraq, Israel, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and Syria achieved this status. 10 

Each of these powers also has modern combat aircraft including 
F-4s, F-14s, F-15s, F-16s, Mirages, Tornados, Mig-23s, Mig-25s, 
and Mig-29s. Furthermore, in the aftermath of the Persian Gulf 
War, several states in the region are preparing to expand the size 
and quality of their air forces. Jane's Defense Weekly has recently re- 
ported that in the "run up to the Dubi Air Show ... Middle East air 
forces" have compiled extensive shopping lists "to replace aging 
aircraft as well as [to] expand their force structure as a shield 
against future aggressors ... The replacement market is led by Saudi 
Arabia." » 

Additionally, many Third World regimes have "smart" weapons 
like the Exocet cruise missile in their inventories. This is but one of 
a class of "first generation" precision-guided munitions (PGM) 
which are appearing in the arsenals of Third World states. It was 
an Exocet that demolished the H.M.S. Sheffield during the 
Falklands War and damaged the U.S.S. Stark in 1987. 12 During 

9 Ibid., p. 25. 

10 See U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, World Military Expenditures and Arms 
Transfers (Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1989); Ruth Leger Sivard, 
World Military and Social Expenditures 1989 (Washington, DC: World Priorities, 1989); 
Rodney Jones and Steven Hildreth, Modern Weapons and Third World Powers (Boulder, CO: 
Westview Press. 1984); and Shlomo Gazit, ed.. The Middle East Military Balance 1988-1989 
(Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1989). 

11 "Middle East Promise," Jane's Defense Weekly (October 26, 1991), p. 767. 

1- For a discussion of the transfer of "smart" weapons to Third World states see Paul Walk- 
er, "High-Tech Killing Power," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May 1990), pp. 23-26. 

Perspectives in Warfighting U 

Marine Corps University 

the Soviet-Afghan War, as one specialist has observed, the "Stinger 
was the war's decisive weapon - it changed the nature of combat." 
Stinger missiles denied the Soviets domination of the skies and 
"demonstrated that control of the air environment is as vital in low 
intensity conflict as in higher intensity warfare." l3 

Furthermore, several Third World states can now domestically 
design and produce one or more of the following major categories 
of weapons ~ armored vehicles, aircraft, naval vessels, and mis- 
siles. "Eight Third World nations," as Andrew Ross has docu- 
mented, "are now able to design and produce all four types." These 
include Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, India, 
Israel, and Egypt. He also points out that "eight more countries are 
producing at least two or three of the four types of conventional 
arms: Chile, Columbia, Indonesia, Mexico, North Korea, Paki- 
stan, the Philippines, and Thailand." 14 This will contribute to the 
diffusion of military power to various regions of the developing 
world and make the resort to force, even in the face of opposition 
from a major power, a more attractive option. 

Finally, in the aftermath of the Gulf War it appears that the ac- 
quisition of the most advanced "smart" weapons will accelerate as 
the nations of the Middle East embark on a new phase of the arms 
race. Precision munitions were of strategic importance in achieving 
the coalition's war objectives. Command bunkers, aircraft shelters, 
and other protected military targets were penetrated and destroyed 
with surgical accuracy. The performance of these weapons was dis- 
played worldwide by CNN and their effectiveness vividly displayed. 


Will regional instability in the developing world increase or de- 
crease in a post-Cold War international system? While such dis- 


'Stinger in Afghanistan," Air Defense Artillery (January-February 1990), pp. 3- 

14 Andrew Ross, "Do-It- Yourself Weaponry," The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May 1990), 
p. 22. 

12 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

putes will no longer be part of the Cold War competition, the end 
of that contest may unleash violent regional confrontations for- 
merly kept limited or subdued. According to Geoffrey Kemp, this 
may be the case for the following reasons: "First, superpower re- 
trenchment itself will create a vacuum, and regional powers will 
move quickly to fill the void. Second, sources of conflict in key re- 
gions of the world have not gone away and in some areas ... the 
prospects of war are growing." Finally, "there is no sign that 
countries in regions of conflict have the political incentives ... to 
work together to reduce tension." 15 i n fact, as we noted above, sev- 
eral of these states are expanding and modernizing their military 

A review of trends over the last four decades will disclose that it 
has been in the various regions of the developing world where 
most violent conflict has taken place. The 1980s revealed no evi- 
dence of a sharp downturn. According to one study: 

What is most striking is that, except for the guerrilla 
war in Greece in the late 1940s, the Soviet use offeree to 
stifle dissidence in Eastern Europe in the 50s and 60s, 
and the violence in Ireland, wars since World War II 
have taken place in the Third World ... These regional 
conflicts stemmed from struggles to win independence 
from colonial domination; to adjust borders, influence, 
and power among newly independent nations; and to 
realign the internal political and social structure or govern- 
mental form within a nation. With few exceptions, the co- 
lonial wars were over by about 1958. The wars of adjust- 
ment continue to this day, and have almost always in- 
volved clashes of conventionally organized military 
forces. The internal wars, by far more numerous, also con- 
tinue. These latter conflicts have usually involved chal- 


I 5 Geoffrey Kemp, "'Regional Security, Arms Control, and the End of the Cold War," The 
Washington Quarterly (Autumn 1990), pp. 33-34. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 13 

Marine Corps University 

lenges to a government and its conventional forces from ir- 
regular forces. 16 

Furthermore, these conflicts are extremely complex. While many 
became intertwined with the Cold War, because of their own dy- 
namics, the end of the East-West struggle did not ensure their cul- 
mination. In fact, the superpower rivalry may have served as a partial 
constraint on several of these intractable disagreements between 
long term adversaries. 

Are these trends a harbinger for destructive regional conflicts? 
According to one recent estimate, we may "see regimes that have 
made themselves champions of regional radicalism, states that are 
all too vulnerable to such pressures, governments that refuse to 
recognize one another, and countries that have claims on one 
another's territory - some with significant military capabilities 
and a history of recurring war." 17 


Low intensity conflict (LIC), over the last 25 years, has been en- 
demic to various Third World regions, with the number of states 
and movements involved on the rise. This is likely to continue in the 
future. The Reagan Administration defined LIC in the following 

[L]ow intensity conflicts may be waged by a combina- 
tion of means, including the use of political, economic, 
informational, and military instruments ... Major causes of 
low intensity conflict are instability, and lack of political 
and economic development in the Third World. These 
conditions provide fertile ground for unrest and for 
groups and nations wishing to exploit unrest for their 

16 "A U.S. Strategy for Third World Conflict," A Report by the Regional Conflict Working 
Group prepared for the Commission on Integrated Long-Term Strategy (1987), p. 3. 

17 National Security Strategy of the United States (Washington, DC: US Government Printing 
Office, 1991), p. 7. 

14 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

own purposes ... An effective U.S. response to this form of 
warfare requires ... the use of a variety of policy instru- 
ments among U.S. government agencies and internation- 
ally. Responses may draw on economic, political, and 
informational tools as well as military assistance. 18 

This definition is instructive for the following reasons: First, low 
intensity conflict is characterized as a political-military confrontation 
short of conventional war between either contending states or a 
group/movement and a state. It can range from covert subversion 
to a paramilitary insurgent conflict. Second, the instruments utilized in 
these conflicts include political, psychological, economic, infor- 
mational, and paramilitary means. Third, LIC involves strategies 
of conflict that are both indirect and unconventional in approach. 
Finally, among the societal factors that underlie or cause LIC are 
discontentment, injustice, repression, instability, and political, eco- 
nomic, and social change. These conditions are generally found in 
the Third World and it is here where most low intensity conflicts 

The factors identified above contribute to an environment con- 
ducive to the out-break of low intensity conflicts. In fact, LIC de- 
scribes an environment or situation in which conflict or instability 
can take one of several forms. Currently, the most frequently men- 
tioned kinds of LIC expected to take place in the years ahead are 
international and state-sponsored terrorism and international nar- 
cotics activities. 

However, we should not discount the possibility of insurgent 
warfare. It has been among the most predominant forms of low in- 
tensity conflict to occur in the post-war period. Previously, it was 
adopted mainly by Marxist-Leninist movements or factions. In the 
years ahead, movements that adopt ethnicity as their ideology are 
more likely to employ the insurgency strategy. In the recent past, 

18 David Silverstein, "Preparing America To Win Low-Intensity Conflict," Backgrounder: 
The Heritage Foundation (No. 786, August 1990), p. 4. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 15 

Marine Corps University 

insurgency strategy has been embraced by those inspired by ethnic 
aspirations, including the Muslims in the Philippines, Kurds in 
Iraq, and Tamils in Sri Lanka. The potential for similar move- 
ments in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East to adopt this strategy is 
enormous. Latin America is also vulnerable to ethnic-based 
insurgencies which exploit Indian resentment of Spanish descend- 
ants (e.g., Peru and Guatemala). 


Will ideological causes of instability continue in the post-Cold 
War era? During most of the period since 1945, destabilizing ideology 
has been synonymous with various forms of Marxism-Leninism. 
However, its attractiveness as the basis for either revolution or gov- 
ernment has lost its appeal. 

As a result, some observers assert that we have reached an end to 
ideology in world affairs and the instability such forces generate. 
This argument can be found in the essay by Frank Fukuyama, 
"The End of History." 19 Not all agree with his assumptions and 
point to other forms of ideological conflict that are likely to cause 
instability in the future. 

For example, specialists in ethnicity argue that ethnonational- 
ism is on the rise and cannot easily be accommodated in many 
multinational states. "Questions of accommodating ethnonational 
heterogeneity within a single state," writes Walker Connor, "re- 
volve about two loyalties ~ loyalty to the nation and loyalty to the 
state ~ and the relative strength of the two." He notes that in this 
contest, "the great number of bloody separatist movements that 
have occurred in the last two decades within the first, second, and 
third worlds bear ample testimony that when the two loyalties are 
seen as being in irreconcilable conflict, loyalty to the state loses 
out." 20 

19 Frank Fukuyama, "The End of History," The National Interest (Summer 1989). 

20 Walker Connor, "Ethnonationalism," in Understanding Political Development edited by 
Myron Weiner and Samuel Huntington (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman/Little, Brown, 
1987), p. 213. 

16 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Likewise, Donald Horowitz has observed in Ethnic Groups In 
Conflict the following: 

Ethnic conflict is a worldwide phenomenon. The evi- 
dence is abundant. The recurrent hostilities in Northern 
Ireland, Chad, and Lebanon; secessionist warfare in 
Burma, Bangladesh, the Sudan, Nigeria, Iraq, and the 
Philippines; the Somalia invasion of Ethiopia, and the 
Turkish invasion of Cyprus; the army killings in Uganda 
and Syria and the mass civilian killings in India-Paki- 
stan, Burundi, and Indonesia; Sikh terrorism, Basque ter- 
rorism, Corsican terrorism, Palestinian terrorism; the ex- 
plusion of Chinese from Vietnam, of Arakanese Muslims 
from Burma, of Asians from Uganda, of Beninese from the 
Ivory Coast and Gabon; ethnic riots in India, Sri Lanka, 
Malaysia, Zaire, Guyana, and a score of other countries — 
these comprise only the most violent evidence of ethnic 
hostility. 21 

Furthermore, he goes on to note that today "ethnic conflict 
possesses elements of universality and uniformity that were not pres- 
ent at earlier times." 22 

This appears to be the case in post-Cold War Eastern Europe, 
where ethnic tensions reveal old and deep-seated rivalries. Events 
in Yugoslavia reveal the long-term nature of these differences. 
While Serbs and Croats have carried this to the level of warfare, 
lesser forms of ethnic tension are evident in other parts of Eastern 
Europe. The Soviet Union is rife with these differences that have a 
significant impact on the dissolution of the USSR. Ethnic frictions 
have also occurred in Poland and Czechoslovakia since the end of 
communist rule. 

In the developing world enthnonationalistic differences have 
been, and will continue to be, "the major obstacle to political de- 

-1 See Donald Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict (Berkeley: University of California Press, 
1985), p. 3. 

22 Ibid, p. 5. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 17 

Marine Corps University 

velopment. Today, just as two decades ago, ethnic nationalism 
poses the most serious threat to political stability in a host of 
states." 23 Ethnonationalism in the form of radicalized seces- 
sionism and irredentism will continue to be an ongoing event in 
the developing world. 

A second source of ideological conflict lies in the area of religious 
fundamentalism, specifically in the Islamic context. According to 
one specialist, "all proponents of jihad, whether writers or actors, 
intellectuals or politicians, are ideologues. At the same time, they 
are religious ideologues, since, despite the history of the critique of 
ideology, religion and ideology merge for them, as for others, during 
the modern or technical age." 24 

In the case of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the call to jihad 
against the United States is well documented. Here, we refer to the 
Shi'i approach to holy war in Islam. This also was the basis for the 
war waged by Iran for over eight years against Iraq. Likewise, Shi'i 
factions in Lebanon have followed a similar tactic and based their 
activities on explicit religious ideology. Will similar states or move- 
ments be motivated by the religious elan of Shi'i Islam in the fu- 
ture is not easily determined. However, it is a powerful force in 
many parts of the developing world. 


Earlier, we observed that in the past when the international system 
has undergone fundamental change, what followed was not easily 
forecast. The future is difficult to know with any degree of certain- 
ty. For example, in the aftermath of World War I, no one predicted 

23 Connor, "Ethnonationalism," pp. 199-200. 

24 Bruce Lawrence, "Holy War {Jihad) in Islamic Religion and Nation-State Ideologies," in 
Just War and Jihad: Historical and Theoretical Perspectives on War and Peace in Western and Is- 
lamic Tradition, edited by John Kelsay and James Turner Johnson (New York: Greenwood 
Press), p. 141. 

25 This phrase is borrowed from "National Military Strategy for the 1990s," (Department of 
Defense, draft 8/22/91), p. 3. 

jg Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

what was to transpire only two decades later. Indeed, the creation 
of the League of Nations, the treaties agreed to at Locarno by the 
European powers, and the Kellogg-Briand Pact were all to ensure 
stability and peace. The fact that it turned out differently reveals 
the extent to which what follows a period of great change in the in- 
ternational system is highly uncertain. In this case the predictions 
of global stability and peace proved to be incorrect. While it may 
be different in the years ahead, there is no certainty of that. 

While it is formidable to plan for the uncertain and the 
unknown, these factors are a very real part of the post-Cold War 
world. Estimating whether, and if so to what extent, conflict and 
instability will take place is very problematic. The issues discussed 
previously are possible indicators of the direction it might take. 
However, they are neither conclusive or definitive. 


While it did not start out this way, the bipolar system of the Cold 
War. once established, was marked by an unwritten set of arrange- 
ments between the superpowers that placed limits on the promotion of 
instability and the use of force. Gordon Craig and Alexander 
George have noted that "while certainly not an ideal international 
system," the Cold War "did indeed constitute a primitive one in 
which certain restraints and norms were present and adhered to." 
26 For example, they point out that nuclear weapons exerted a 
"powerful [restraining] effect" on "the many differences and rivalry 
between the two sides." Additionally, "cooperation in crisis man- 
agement [after the Cuban Missile Crisis] became one of the most 
important means." among others, "for regulating rivalry and pro- 
moting some cooperation." 27 

-" Gordon Craig and Alexander George. Force and Statecraft (New York: Oxford University 
\ Press. 1983). p. 117. 

I 27 ibid pp 117-H8. Similarly. James E. Dougherty and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., in review- 
ing the literature on system structure and stability note that "some contend that a multipolar 
world is likely to be less stable than a bipolar system. With fewer important actors and great- 
er certainty in military and political relationships, the prospects for misunderstandings and 
conflict are said to be less under conditions of bipolarity than in a multipolar world." Con- 
tending Theories of International Relations (3rd ed.; New York: Harper & Row. 1990). p. 119. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 19 

Marine Corps University 

These constraining forces, to a degree, likewise curbed the use of 
force by allies and clients, thus preventing regional conflicts from 
turning into superpower ones. In other words, the power balance 
and modalities worked out over the years between the two 
superpowers had a spillover effect into those critical areas of the 
world troubled by long standing disputes and emerging new ones. 
While regional conflicts occurred, there were instances in which 
the superpowers were able, through influence over their allies, to 
limit the extent of hostilities. 

In this bipolar system, the U.S. designed its international security 
policy around the strategic concepts of containment of the USSR 
and deterrence of its nuclear forces. Beginning in the early 1960s, 
deterrence moved to the forefront and remained the basis for U.S. 
strategic thinking and policy formation throughout the period. 

The 1990s will be different, as was noted earlier, and will reflect 
concurrent but contradictory trends. On the one hand, the changes 
that have occurred will bring stability to parts of the world that 
were "battlefields" during the Cold War. This stability has to be 
managed to ensure its continuation and furtherance. There is no 
guarantee that because it currently exists, stability will endure if 

On the other hand, the new international system will be fluid, 
and marked by diverse, diffuse, and incalculable conflicts that 
may, with more frequency take place. This will be due both to the 
increasing diversity of interests, disagreements, and demands of 
states in these subsystems, as well as to the absence of the con- 
straining influence of the superpowers. 

One way to conceptualize the difference between the interna- 
tional security environment of the Cold War and its aftermath is 
through the spectrum of conflict, a framework frequently utilized 
in the U.S. national security community. The objective of it is to 
identify the different types and frequency of conflict/war via a 

20 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

three-level classification. 28 The diagram on the next page, in our 
estimation, reflects the international security environment of the 

As can be seen, in the years ahead, the more probable forms of 
conflict begin at the level of regional limited conventional war and 
move left on the spectrum to low intensity conflicts, 29 show of 
force, and presence, peacekeeping, and related stability actions. 30 
Thus, as the intensity of conflict shifts from the conventional to 
lower levels, the probability of occurrence increases. 

In light of the above, what strategic concepts ought to guide U.S. 
policy and strategy in a post-Cold War international security sys- 
tem? Over the last 25 years, the American security studies commu- 
nity has generated a literature that contains concepts we can draw 
on to answer this question. In terms of the uses of military power, 
Robert Art has observed: "Although the goals that states pursue 
range widely and vary considerably from case to case, there are 
four categories that analytically exhaust the functions force can 
serve: defense, deterrence, compellence. and swaggering." 31 The 
I latter category includes various non-combat/peacetime missions, 
such as presence, peacekeeping, and related stability actions. The 
current umbrella term for these missions is peacetime engagement. 

28 For a discussion and application of this concept see U.S. Marine Corps, FMFM 1, 
Warfighting (Washington. DC: Headquarters. U.S. Marine Corps, 1989). 

-9 As was noted earlier in the text, low intensity conflict entails a political-military confron- 
tation short of conventional war between either contending states or a group/movement and 
a state. It can range from covert subversion to a paramilitary insurgent conflict. The instru- 
ments utilized in these conflicts include political, psychological, economic, informational, 
and paramilitary means. LIC involves strategies of conflict that are both indirect and 
unconventional in approach. The most frequently mentioned kinds of LIC most likely to 
occur in the 1990s include international narcotics and international and state-sponsored 
terrorism. However, we should not discount the possibility of insurgent warfare. 

30 These are part of the general category of non-combat operations that the Department of 
Defense refers to as peacetime missions. These include presence through bilateral or multi- 
lateral arrangements, humanitarian assistance. Military Training Teams, peacekeeping, 
and related security operations. 

31 Robert Art, 'The Role of Military Power in International Relations," in National Security 
Affairs, ed. by B. Thomas Trout and James Harf (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books. 
1982). p. 27. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 21 

Marine Corps University 









Perspectives in Watfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

During the Cold War, deterrence emerged as the central strate- 
gic concept for the United States. This can be seen both in the 
works of U.S. strategic thinkers and in the national security policy 
and strategy of post-WWII administrations. 32 While deterrence 
will remain important, based on the previous assessment of the 
contours of the post-Cold War international security environment, 
Art's latter two categories of compellence/power projection and 
presence/peacekeeping/stability or peacetime engagement will 
move to the forefront in terms of priority. Below, the parameters of 
these two strategic concepts will be outlined, and in the next sec- 
tion the role and suitability of naval expeditionary forces in sup- 
port of these missions will be discussed. 


The purpose of compellence is to employ military power to affect an 
adversary's behavior in the following ways: one, to halt an activity 
that is underway; two, to undo a deed already accomplished; or 
three, to initiate an action that is undesirable. The concept was given 
its initial and most detailed consideration in the study by Thomas 
Schelling, "Arms and Influence." He asserted that "compellence ... 
usually involves initiating an action that can cease, or become 
harmless, only if the opponent responds. The overt act, the first 
step, is up to the side that makes the compellent threat." 33 Thus, to 
be credible, "the compellent threat has to be put in motion ... and 
then the victim must yield." 34 

In effect, for Schelling, compellence almost always involves the 
use of force. Furthermore, it involves attention to where, what kind, 
and how much military power is to be used in order to convince 
the adversary to comply. Compellence is offensive, action oriented, 
and particularly suited for crisis situations. 

32 For a thorough review of these developments see Lawrence Freedman. The Evolution of 
Nuclear Strategy (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1983). 

33 Thomas Schelling, Arms and Influence (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1966). p. 


34 Ibid. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 23 

Marine Corps University 

The distinction between deterrence and compellence is apparent. 
The former uses force passively to prevent an action from taking 
place, while the latter employs force actively and involves a se- 
quence of actions and reactions. Unlike deterrence, compellence is 
easier to verify because it requires something to take place. However, 
it is precisely because of this that it is more difficult to achieve. In 
the case of deterrence, the adversary has the veil of plausible denial. 
This is not true for compellence, which requires a actor to alter its 

Directly related to the concept of compellence is that of power 
projection. W. Scott Thompson has defined it as "the capacity to 
inject appropriate instruments of influence and force over dis- 
tances into rapidly changing violent (or potentially violent) situa- 
tions." 35 The ability to project power is enhanced if one has avail- 
able an "infrastructure" that includes "the prepositioning of forces 
and equipment, the deployment of a worldwide naval support system, 
the development of reconnaissance capabilities, and the expansion of 
command and control communications networks." 36 

Russell E. Dougherty, former Commander of the Strategic Air 
Command, in defining the requirements for effective power pro- 
jection noted that: one, it "must be believable ... to our adversaries"; 
two, "the power to be projected ... must be built on actual forces"; 
and three, "the force [must] be ... fit to fight." 37 i n an international 
security system characterized by regional conflicts that are increas- 
ingly diverse, diffuse, and difficult to forecast, the ability to project 
power to compel an adversary to halt an activity that is under way 
or undo a deed already accomplished will be more germane than 
deterrence in the years ahead. 

35 W. Scott Thompson, Power Projection: A Net Assessment of U.S. and Soviet Capabilities (New 
York: The National Strategy Information Center, 1978), p. 8. 

36 ibid. 

37 Russell E. Dougherty, "Power Projection: Historic and Contemporary Perspectives," in 
Projection of Power: Perspectives, Perceptions, and Problems, ed. by Uri Ra'anan, Robert L. 
Pfaltzgraff, Jr., and Geoffrey Kemp (Hamden, CT: Archon Books, 1982), p. 11. 

24 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

When a crisis erupts with little or no forewarning, a com- 
pellence/power projection capability enhances the role of military 
power as a political instrument. According to George, Hall, and Si- 
mons, when employed in this manner, "force is used in an exem- 
plary, demonstrative manner ... to induce the opponent to revise 
his calculation." It allows you "to demonstrate resolution to protect 
well defined interests and also to demonstrate the credibility of 
one's determination to use more if necessary." 38 For these authors, 
compellence/power projection or coercive diplomacy "focuses 
upon affecting the enemy's will rather than negating his capa- 
bilities." 39 We believe that to exclude the latter as an option is to 
limit the flexibility of compellence/power projection. 


Presence, peacekeeping, and stability, Art's fourth strategic con- 
cept, relates directly to a number of peacetime engagement military 
missions. These will be of growing importance as the U.S. seeks, in 
conjunction with various regional allies and friends, to establish 
new bilateral and multilateral agreements and frameworks to 
bring about and/or maintain regional stability. The presence of 
forward deployed forces and capabilities and the conduct of joint 
combined exercises will be an important element of these post- 
Cold War regional security arrangements. They provide credibility 
for such arrangements, demonstrate commitment on the part of 
the United States, and give pause to states who might be intent on 
altering the status quo. 

Various peacetime engagement missions also strengthen the ties 
between the United States and its regional allies. This is accom- 
plished through mobile training teams (MTT), security assistance, 
) and civic action programs. These build strong military to military 
relations and also improve the standing of the host military with 
its own population. MTTs are designed to provide the military 

38 Alexander George, David Hall, and William Simons, The Limits of Coercive Diplomacy 
(Boston, MA: Little, Brown, 1971), p. 18. 

39 ibid. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 25 

Marine Corps University 

forces of friendly countries with the training to operate, maintain, 
and employ weapons systems and support equipment or teach other 
basic skills. In conjunction with other security assistance meas- 
ures, MTTs are an important part of the process of creating and 
maintaining new regional security arrangements and regimes. 

Other important aspects of peacetime engagements are peace- 
keeping and humanitarian assistance missions. They likewise con- 
tribute to regional stability in consequential ways. Peacekeeping 
operations include missions in both hostile and potentially hostile 
situations. The goal is to either prevent or contain conflict and to 
forestall its spillover into other parts of a region. Humanitarian as- 
sistance provides disaster relief on short notice. It likewise seeks to 
confine a situation that could degenerate into internal conflict 
from doing so. These and related peacetime engagement missions 
are important instalments for achieving and maintaining regional 




The concepts of compellence/power projection and presence/ 
peacekeeping/stability or peacetime engagement will take on 
growing significance in the post-Cold War international security 
policy of the United States. To utilize them effectively, the U.S. will 
require a flexible and multi-purpose force structure. Within this 
context, Marine expeditionary forces are configured and oriented 
to make an important contribution. 

First of all, they reflect the naval and expeditionary traditions of 
such important strategists as Alfred Thayer Mahan and Julian S. 
Corbett, both of whom understood that advances in transportation, 
communications, technology, and forward-basing provide a state 
with the capacity to project power globally. 40 While Corbett, in 

40 Alfred Thayer Mahan, The Influence of Seapower on History (New York: Dover Publica- 
tions, 1987); Julian S. Corbett, Some Principles of Maritime Strategy (London: Longmans, 
Green and Co., 1911). 

26 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

many respects, complements the work of Mahan, his emphasis on 
amphibious forces and joint operations are particularly relevant to 
the future international security environment. Wellington's cam- 
paign against Napoleon was, for Corbett, indicative of the power 
projection adroitness of expeditionary forces. 

The Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) is structured for 
compellence/power projection missions. It will be particularly ap- 
plicable if, as suggested earlier, conflicts in the future are diverse, 
diffuse, and incalculable; take place in far-reaching parts of the de- 
veloping world; and the more probable forms begin at the level of 
regional limited conventional war and move down the spectrum in 
terms of intensity. 

Consider the MAGTF capabilities, as depicted in the diagram 
on the next page. It provides a flexible combined-arms force that 
can be structured to respond to a broad range of conventional and 
unconventional conflict situations. Each of the four MAGTF con- 
figurations ~ MEF, MEB, MEU, SPF ~ contains a command, 
ground combat, aviation combat, and combat support element. 
Because they can be deployed rapidly and sustained from a sea 
base, the MAGTF provides a compellent/power projection capa- 
bility for maritime operations across a significant portion of the 
spectrum of conflict. 

The largest MAGTF formation, the Marine Expeditionary 
Force (MEF), contains up to 60,000 Marines and Sailors and de- 
ploys with supplies for 60 days. It includes infantry, artillery, 
j armor, reconnaissance, aviation, and logistics components. A 
MEF of roughly 20,000 can be on the ground and ready to conduct 
j operations in less than two weeks. It can fight alone or as part of a 
i larger joint and/or combined operation. In the case of the latter, a 
MEF becomes the forward element that establishes a secure base 
for the follow-on buildup. 

The rapid deployment of a MEF in a crisis presents an oppo- 
nent with a serious challenge and provides the President with an 
instrument of coercion and crisis control. Because it establishes a 
meaningful presence on the ground in a short period of time, a 

Perspectives in Warfighting 27 

Marine Corps University 

























Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

MEF can give an adversary pause. As a result of its combat 
capabilities, a MEF is able to carry out an array of conventional 
warfare missions. 

During Desert Shield, the Marine Corps deployed a Marine Ex- 
peditionary Force to Saudi Arabia by September 1, 1991. This 
buildup demonstrated the MAGTF capacity for the rapid intro- 
duction of a significant and credible force. If Iraq harbored any in- 
tention of carrying its invasion of Kuwait into Saudi Arabia, the 
presence of a fully deployed Marine Expeditionary Force made an 
unambiguously clear statement of American intent and resolve. 
During Desert Storm the MEF was part of a major joint and com- 
bined force that compelled Iraq to undo what it had achieved on 
August 2, 1991. 

As the diagram depicts, the second MAGTF component is a 
Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB). It has the same composi- 
tion as a MEF, but on a smaller scale. A MEB can range from 
4,000 to 18,000 and can sustain itself for 30 days. It can be fully de- 
ployed in eight days for solo operations or as the forward element 
of a MEF or joint force. According to "FMFRP 2-12, Marine Air- 
Ground Task Force: A Global Capability," "The MEB can be 
configured for deployment as an air contingency force, a maritime or 
geographical prepositioning force, or an amphibious force." 41 In 
conjunction with its multiple mission profile, this adds to the mo- 
bility and flexibility of the MEB. 

The final two elements of the MAGTF are the Marine Expedi- 
tionary Unit (MEU) and the Special Purpose Force (SPF). The former 
can be in place within a few days because it is a forward deployed, 
sea-based force. This allows MEUs, which are located in the Medi- 
terranean Sea and Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, to be on the scene 
and respond immediately to a crisis. It is a rapid reaction force that 
can carry out various operations, most importantly long-range am- 
phibious raids during night and adverse conditions. The MEU 
also serves as the forward element of a MEB. 

41 FMFRP 2-12, Marine Air-Ground Task Force: A Global Capability (Washington, DC: Head- 
quarters United States Marine Corps, 1991), p. 22. 


Marine Corps University 

The SPF, as the name suggests, is organized for an array of special 
missions. With respect to compellence and power projection these 
would include raids, strike operations, surveillance and reconnais- 
sance, and related actions. 

Beyond the above attributes the MAGTF has other features that 
make it suitable for compellence/power projection missions. These 
include: one, a capacity to conduct special operations; two, mari- 
time prepositioned equipment; and three, an emphasis on maneuver 
and surprise. 

MAGTFs are special operations capable (SOC) and this en- 
hances the mission flexibility of each of its four elements. This in- 
cludes special operations in support of conventional missions and 
in low intensity conflicts. The latter is particularly important if, as 
is now estimated, low intensity conflict (LIC) challenges continue 
to increase in the future. The Marine Corps divides LIC into two 
categories: stability and limited objective operations. The latter di- 
rectly relates to compellence/power projection situations, while the 
former, as will be detailed below, pertains to peacetime engagement 

Limited objective missions include raids, limited objective at- 
tacks, NEO, hostage rescue, deep strike and interdiction, airborne 
assault, clandestine insertion and extraction, and so on. As is ap- 
parent, each can be initiated from the sea or air. Beyond direct action, 
SOC includes various intelligence missions. 

The suitability of MAGTF elements for compellence/power pro- 
jection is also enhanced by Maritime Prepositioning Forces 
(MPF). MPF consists of a command element, a MEB, maritime 
prepositioned ships, and a Navy support element. The prepositioning 
of equipment afloat reduces the response time in a crisis and, in ef- 
fect, serves as a mobile POMCUS. 42 As Bernard Trainor has 

42 POMCUS or European Positioning of Materiel Configured to Unit Sets is generally asso- 
ciated with European contingencies. For a discussion see Robert Harkavy, Bases Abroad 
(London: Oxford University Press, 1989), pp. 310-311. In the years ahead, POMCUS is likely 
to become a part of emerging regional security arrangements. 

30 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

pointed out. the MPF program "is one of the significant actions 
taken that makes sense and recognizes that the problem we face is 
one of employment rather than deployment." 43 

Each of the three MPF squadrons, located at Atlantic Com- 
mand, Diego Garcia, and Guam-Tinian, carries enough equip- 
ment and supplies to support a 16,000-man MEB for 30 days. Thus, 
the MPF allows for the rapid deployment, assembly, and employ- 
ment of a MEB in a secure area using a combination of airlift for 
personnel and prepositioned ships for capabilities. 

The rapid buildup of the MEF during Desert Shield certified the 
value of MPF during a crisis. According to one recent account, 
"From the receipt of mission on 7 August until the final offload on 
7 September the MPS program provided enough supplies and 
equipment to SWA to enable 33,600 Marines and Sailors to operate 
for 30 days of sustained combat." 44 The entire deployment for De- 
sert Shield and Desert Storm went through two phases. In phase 
one, which ran from August 7 to November 8, 1990, MPS-2 and 
MPS-3, in conjunction with combat aircraft, aviation support 
ships, and airlifted personnel, deployed and sustained a compos- 
ited I MEF in Saudi Arabia. The phase two deployment, which began 
on November 8, 1990, achieved the same status for II MEF by De- 
cember 22, 1990. 

A key lesson from the Gulf War is that in a crisis situation, 
where you must put forces on the ground in a short response time, 
MPS is a prerequisite. A critically important component of the ex- 
peditionary concept, MPS supports two key elements - crisis re- 
sponse and forward presence ~ of the new "National Military 
Strategy for the 1990s." 45 In Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Marine 

43 Bernard E. Trainor, "A Force Employment Capability," Marine Corps Gazette (May 1990), 
p. 29. 

44 Ernest S. Jones, "MPS and Desert Storm," Marine Corps Gazette (August 1991), p. 48. 

45 The August 1991 draft of "The National Military Strategy for the 1990s" identifies founda- 
tions for future military strategy: deterrence, forward presence, crisis response, and 

Perspectives in Warfighting 31 

Marine Corps University 

Expeditionary Forces served as the forward element of a major 
joint and combined operation. MPS proved to be of strategic sig- 
nificance. It does not, however, solve the problem of how the 
capabilities for heavy divisions are to be forward deployed. Indeed, 
land based prepositioning, a SWA POMCUS, has to be part of any 
future multilateral regional security agreement the U.S. enters into 
with the Persian Gulf states. 

Finally, MAGTF accentuates the combat concepts of maneuver 
and surprise. Rapidly deployable maritime forces can make effec- 
tive use of the principles of maneuver warfare, most importantly 
the shattering of an adversary's cohesion through rapid and 
unexpected strikes at points where it is unprepared. Trainor accu- 
rately observes that "The ability to make a forcible entry cannot be 
overemphasized and is perhaps the most important point to be 
made." 46 Of course, to be able to do so at a time and place of one's 
choice is the essence of military surprise. A modern amphibious 
force that can do so will create uncertainty and confusion for the 

The relationship between maneuver, surprise, and expeditionary 
forces is further enhanced through the Marine combat concept of 
Over-the-Horizon (OTH) entry. A MAGTF that can deploy from 
the sea a regimental-size assault force 50 miles deep in the enemy's 
rear area has real significance, for the defenders cannot determine 
where you intend to land. OTH and rapid surface landing effec- 
tively combine the principles of maneuver and surprise. They ex- 
tend the battlefield. 

In the international security environment of the 1990s, MAGTF 
capabilities are ideal for crisis response in limited conventional 
and low intensity conflicts. This is precisely why the necessary im- 
provements should be procured to make the Over-the-Horizon 
concept a fully viable military option. 47 

46 Trainor, "A Force Employment Capability," pp. 29-30. 

47 For the specifics on OTH see the Marine Corps Combat Development Command's con- 
cept paper, Over-the-Horizon Amphibious Operations (Quantico, VA; Marine Corps Combat 
Development Command, 1991). 

32 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

With respect to peacetime engagement, the MAGTF, likewise, 
can make an important contribution. Conceptually, the Marine 
Corps includes this array of missions within the parameters of low 
intensity conflict. As noted above, LIC is divided into limited ob- 
jective combat operations and stability operations. The latter is, in 
several respects, synonymous with peacetime engagement. During 
the 1980s, the Commandant directed the Marine Corps Combat 
Development Command to focus part of its attention on both 
categories of LIC. 

With respect to peacetime engagement, this resulted in tailoring 
various elements of the MAGTF to carry out the following mis- 
sions. One. joint and combined exercises within the context of re- 
gional security arrangements. Two, assist friendly governments 
maintain internal stability. Three, peacekeeping operations as a 
part of a larger joint or international force. Four, MTTs and re- 
lated security assistance programs. Five, the provision of humani- 
tarian assistance as part of a response to natural disasters. And fi- 
nally, protecting and/or evacuating noncombatants from violent 
regional conflicts. 

The MAGTF can provide several essential elements for various 
peacetime engagement missions. However, there are some areas 
that require upgrading. This is particuarly true of area expertise, 
including a well developed foreign language capability, as well as 
knowledge of the culture, customs, mores, and current setting. As 
our focus shifts to regional security, a sophisticated knowledge of 
the political, social, economic, cultural, and religious influences at 
play in these parts of the world becomes essential. 

Over the last decade Marine forces have been involved in each 
of these missions. The MAGTF has been structured to respond to 
peacetime engagement situations. While it has its shortcomings, as 
; noted above, nevertheless, this positions the Marine Corps to sup- 
port forward presence missions or peacetime engagement, one of 
the four foundations, along with deterrence, crisis response and 
reconstitution, of the new "National Military Strategy for the 

Perspectives in Warfighting 33 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter II 

Security Assistance, 

Humanitarian Assistance, and 

Related Operations 


LtGen H. C. Stackpole III, USMC 

Marine will stand before you with a "road map" of rib- 
bons on his chest, showing that his teeth were cut in combat. He is 
primarily a war-fighter because, in order to provide the Nation 
with a credible deterrent capability and defend it if deterrence 
fails, you must have individuals such as he who have that kind of 
background. However, no Marine is a war-lover. 

Naval expeditionary forces ~ Sailors and Marines ~ have been, 
and are, an integral component of the Nation's efforts to attain its 
national security interests and objectives. Military forces capable 
of humanitarian assistance must be in a U.S. "quiver of arrows" 
which includes flexibility, sustainability, and other capabilities. 
Naval expeditionary forces are olive branches which also can be 
placed in a bow and fired. This is "assistance projection" rather 
than force projection, and it is an important part of what naval 
forces do each and every day of the year. 

^ There is an increasingly important correlation between domestic 
Ld international requirements. The Nation must maintain a stra- 
tegic balance for its economic, political, and military elements of 
power. Military capabilities must be in line with the Nation's en- 
during values and the armed forces must be relevant to maintain- 
ing these values in this day and age. Central to this is the idea of 
readiness and the capability to meet threats - the indefinable 
threats ~ which are out there. 


Perspectives in Warfighting 35 

Marine Corps University 

Stability is a cardinal goal of U.S. National Policy: Instability is 
the threat. This was articulated clearly by Admiral Charles Larson 
to all his forces in the Pacific. He was the primary architect in set- 
ting up forces for disaster relief to Bangladesh in the aftermath of a 
killer typhoon which hit that nation in late April 1991. But, that 
was not the only operation done in the name of stability as part of 
forward presence operations during the period of Desert Storm/ 
Desert Shield. Outlining a few "assistance projection" examples 
will help illustrate the utility of naval expeditionary forces to fur- 
thering the Nation's ideals and achieving its goals. 


Fiery Vigil was a joint operation commanded by an Air Force 
General at Clark Air Base, Republic of the Philippines. It was 
carried out primarily by Marine Corps and Navy forces which 
were able to respond rapidly to this disaster and evacuate 17,000 
U.S. personnel and their dependents to a safe area hundreds of 
miles to the south. There, with the cooperation of the Philippine 
government, they set up an "airhead" to care for and evacuate 
these individuals from danger. Air Force C-141s and the Airlift 
Control Elements (ALCE) to support them then moved these 
American citizens on to Anderson Air Force Base in Guam and 
eventually to the United States. 

Simultaneously, Marines, principally engineers from Okinawa, 
joined as part of Marine Air-Ground Task Force 4-90 to dig Cubi 
Point Naval Air Station and Subic Bay Naval Base out from under 
the tons of volcanic ash. In addition, naval forces provided the mo- 
tor vessel Lummis, one of our Maritime Prepositioning Ships, 
loaded with Reverse-Osmosis Water Purification Units and engi- 
neer equipment ~ two critically-needed commodities for the relief 

The magnitude of this effort can be accentuated by the fact that 
one square-foot of ash weighs 26 pounds wet, and the rains did 
come to aggravate the situation in the Philippines. This wet ash 
devastated the buildings at Clark and Subic Bay. It devastated 
buildings which were accustomed only to monsoon rains. The suc- 

36 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

cess of this mission was not due to the exertions of Sailors and Ma- 
rines, it was an operation conducted jointly - a united effort by all 
services to accomplish a humanitarian action and bring relief to 
American citizens and Filipino nationals in need. 


There is a certain sterility to what is usually reported in newspa- 
pers. To best illustrate this, the words of Lieutenant General John 
Shalikashvili (Commander of the Joint Task Force for "Provide 
Comfort" on the border between Turkey and Iraq) to a group of 
people at the State Department on Refugee Day are appropriate. 
His words (paraphrased below) set the scene and help listeners un- 
derstand the magnitude of the problem he encountered and the 
capabilities which U.S. military forces can apply to alleviate hu- 
man suffering. 

"Television pictures of those early days in the Kurdish refugee 
camps did not convey the reality. They did not convey the sounds, 
the smells, and the horror there in the camps. During those early 
days of April, it was truly a nightmare -- a place that Dante might 
have known. The Kurdish refugees 'hovered' just below the snow 
line without shelter, without adequate clothing, without food, with- 
out any kind of sanitation, and without any kind of medical atten- 
tion. Before the world could realize the enormity of the tragedy un- 
folding, hundreds of the very young and the very old were dying 
every day. 

The sheer magnitude of the refugee situation was exacerbated by 
the speed with which it developed, the rapidly deteriorating condi- 
tions in those camps, and the unimaginable isolation created by 
impassable mountains. The precarious security situation (the Iraqi 
Army on one side and terrorist organizations such as the Dev Sol 
and the PKK on the other) made this one of the most difficult and 
complex refugee situations ever encountered by U.S. Armed 
Forces. It would have overwhelmed any single humanitarian or- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 37 

Marine Corps University 

Accomplishing this mission was a monumental effort which re- 
quired hard work, dedication, and professionalism from many 
men and women. Hundreds of soldiers worked 24 hours a day to 
rig thousands of tons of air-dropable equipment. Air Force C-130 
pilots threaded their way through narrow, cloud-covered valleys to 
drop their supplies onto fog-shrouded drop zones. Special Forces 
soldiers and civil affairs specialists went into the mountains to first 
find, then organize and attempt to assist refugees. Military doctors 
and medics cared for the sick, inoculated against diseases, and 
helped with sanitation. Airborne soldiers and Marines pushed a 
very reluctant and resistant Iraqi Army out of the way to establish 
a secure zone in which to build these camps. 

Helicopter pilots, some to fly protection over northern Iraq and 
others to carry supplies to the most isolated mountain camps, were 
indispensable. Engineers built roads where God never intended 
roads to be built. They repaired runways, erected camps, dug wells, 
and, yes, built countless latrines. Specialists established vast com- 
munications networks and cleared mines which literally covered 
the countryside. Air Force and Navy fighter aircraft, with tankers 
to refuel and AWACS to control them, provided overhead protec- 
tion. There were mountains of supplies and thousands of pieces of 
equipment in Kirkuk, all needed yesterday. The sense of urgency 
in all who participated was readily evident, for everyone knew that 
each minute wasted and every day gone by meant the deaths of 
hundreds more. 

When all was said and done, it required the efforts of about 
13,000 U.S. servicemen and women, from all services, and some 
11,000 soldiers from 12 coalition countries. Soldiers, Sailors, Air- 
men, and Marines brought with them those special resources the 
military possesses: 

* An ability to respond to a crisis at a moment's notice. 

* The capability to reach, almost overnight, the most iso- 
lated corners of the world. 

* The organization to tie together something as complex 
as this, and; 

* Young men and women, fully trained in a hundred dif- 

38 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

ferent skills needed for winning wars, but just as ger- 
mane for saving lives. 

Most important to the success of "Provide Comfort" were these 
young men and women. They are a national treasure and, more 
than ever, confident to tackle any challenge. As "Provide Comfort" 
demonstrated again, they are full of the sort of the infectious en- 
thusiasm of Americans which seeks to help those in need. 


The typhoon which battered the littoral regions of Bangladesh 
the night of 29 April 1991 packed 150-knot winds at its center. 
Making the situation worse was that it hit during a full moon - 
tides were at their peak. The highest point of the outlying islands 
and along the coast of Bangladesh is about 30 feet: The tidal wave 
which accompanied the storm that dismal night was 30 feet! The 
winds came, the waters came, and 140,000 people perished in a 
matter of hours, most of them women and children. 

The area of devastation was extensive. The north point, 
Chittagong, was under 15 feet of water. The destruction stretched 
110 miles southward to another point, near the border with Burma, 
called Cox's Bazar. Damage extended inland an average of about 
five kilometers and included six major islands and a number of 
smaller ones with exotic names like Sandwip, Kutubdia, Moheshkali, 
and Matabari. 

Bangladesh, a nation of 120 million Muslims, is the second 
largest Muslim nation in the world and the second largest democ- 
racy in terms of population. These people live in an area about the 
size of the state of Wisconsin. The region is hit every year by a cy- 
clone season, then a monsoon season, followed by yet another cy- 
clone season ~ the only country in the world which suffers "Nor- 
easters" and "Sou-westers." It is a deltaic region, second only to the 
Amazon in size. Forty-five million tons of silt come from the con- 
fluence of the Magma, the Brahmaputra, and the Ganges Rivers 
along with the Himalaya Mountain Range runoff. It has been said 

Perspectives in Warfighting 39 

Marine Corps University 

that you can stick a walking staff in the ground and it will probably 
sprout leaves. 

It is one of the most inhospitable areas of the world in which to 
conduct relief efforts. The tidal rise is 21 feet. The currents average 
from six to 12 knots. Add to this that the thunderstorms and winds 
which occurred each day of the operation had 50 knot vortexes 
which preceded them. Conditions such as these call for superior 
airmanship and seamanship, especially when operating in and out 
of unmarked zones. 


Operation "Sea Angel" did not present the problems faced during 
"Provide Comfort" in terms of a military threat, or in terms of hav- 
ing to use force. But, the U.S. Joint Task Force (JTF) commanded 
by this author which responded to that tragedy had to deal with 
139,000 dead people — all killed in one single night. There were 
also an estimated one million cattle carcasses littering the country- 
side. The newly-elected government of Bangladesh was faced with 
an infrastructure in its southern bay region which had been totally 
destroyed. A concerned U.S. President responded to the anguish of 
Bangladesh. What was accomplished? 

First and foremost, the operation saved countless lives. Esti- 
mates are that 1.7 million people were impacted by that disaster 
and lost their homes and their livelihood. Although the death toll 
was enormous, the quick response by the U.S. probably saved, 
somewhat conservatively, in the neighborhood of 30,000 lives. 
Death tolls can be estimated, but the "toll" of lives saved through 
the comprehensive relief efforts of the U.S. and other nations is im- 
measurable. That was the number one goal ~ the preservation of 

Second, it shored up a government which was 39-days old at the 
time of the disaster ~ the newest democracy in that hemisphere. 
Bangladesh had been living under nine years of autocracy. It 
would have been a very easy matter for that country to return to an 

40 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

autocratic form of government. Some were hoping that new gov- 
ernment would fail. 

Third, U.S. assistance helped focus international attention on 
that backwater of the world. The people of Bangladesh are now re- 
covering, surviving, and on their way to a better life than they had 
before the disaster. This is the direct result of literally billions 
which poured in from other agencies and donor nations because 
of the U.S. commitment to humanitarianism. 

Last, Marines proved ~ one more time - that people who are 
known as "Sea Devils" by one Muslim nation, were regarded as 
"Sea Angels" by another Muslim nation. Proof that Marines, as 
part of naval expeditionary forces, can carry the instruments of 
war to bring about both compellence and the olive branch of peace 
to relieve human suffering. 

This type of humanitarian assistance, or forward presence mis- 
sions, are a preventative measure rather than a cure. In the long 
run, this prevention saves the U.S. a substantial amount of poten- 
tial investment to find cures. However, in the short run, it may ap- 
pear to cost more because it means forces must be forward de- 
ployed, credible, engaged in helping to shape world events, and 
providing a positive leadership example to those nations in search 
of a paradigm for success. Therefore, while compellence may be a 
commodity which requires occasional renewal for credibility, pre- 
vention should be the concept which guides our daily military efforts. 


What made Operation "Sea Angel" a success? There are innu- 
merable particulars which contribued to the success of this mas- 
sive Samaritan effort. For the purpose of brevity, the three most im- 
portant, yet apparently simple, factors are outlined here. 

First, there was the mission. The call to action came at 5:30 a.m. 
local time in the Philippines. Admiral Larson, the Commander in 
Chief of all U.S. forces in the Pacific, queried from Honolulu after 
the President's decision to aid Bangladesh. The question was, 

Perspectives in Warfighting 41 

Marine Corps University 

"How soon can you have a JFT team in Bangladesh?" The answer - 
24 hours! He said, "Go! Your orders: Report to the United States 
Ambassador as a member of the country team and carry out hu- 
manitarian operations in support of the Government of Bangla- 
desh." There was no direction on how it should be done. 

This type of broad guidance allows the commander on scene to 
exercise his or her judgment of the best way to accomplish the mis- 
sion. Information does not have to be filtered through several lev- 
els to reach the decision-maker. As is true for many situations, it is 
that individual who has an "up close and personal" knowledge of 
the situation and who can make the wisest and quickest decisions. 

The second factor was the "team." When most people envision 
joint operations, they think of something the size of Desert Storm ~ a 
massive endeavor. The total force for operation "Sea Angel" was 
about 8,000 ~ most of them at sea. It was a heavy Navy/Marine 
"side-of-the-house" operation because infrastructure was so severely 
devastated that any attempt to put a large presence on shore would 
have been a liability rather than an asset. There were no more than 
500 individuals ashore overnight at any one time: 250 in Dhaka 
with Headquarters of the JTF, and 250 at the Operations Center 
and primary distribution point at Chittagong. 

This magnificent force composed of young Americans once 
again proved their ability to surmount any challenge. As an exam- 
ple, the 5th Marine Expeditionary Bridgade and the Navy's Am- 
phibious Group Three were on their way back to the United States 
from Desert Storm. The Muslims of Bangladesh initially were 
afraid that these individuals might be angry about having to stop 
on their way home from the war, a fact which would delay their re- 
turn home. How wrong they were! Those Marines and Sailors 
proved their compassion when they saw the devastation and 
substandard existence that existed in Bangladesh. They left feeling 
they had accomplished something decent and right. This quintes- 
sential example of a Joint Task Force humanitarian assistance/ 
disaster relief mission also included: 

42 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

* An Air Force component, without whose C-141 
Airlifters and C-130s, the JTF would not have been able 
to move supplies from Dhaka down to Chittagong and 
then on to Cox's Bazar. The 603 Airlift Control Squad- 
ron operated from the Dhaka Airport. They helped 
"deconflict" air operations from the control towers for 
two operating ramps to forward supplies from there to 
Chittagong and onto the interior. 

* An Army component which provided the first ele- 
ments in theater in the form of Blackhawk helicopters. 
They began the initial lift of supplies and equipment. 
They were superb flyers and worked very closely with the 

* A Joint Special Operations Task Force, a disaster relief 
package of three-man teams which is incomparable ~ 
don't leave home without them. 

The command element for this operation was drawn from this 
author's III Marine Expeditionary Force staff in Okinawa, Japan. 
A small contingent of 24 individuals conducted the initial survey 
and liaison in country. A deployable Joint Task Force Element 
from Honolulu with a deputy, an Air Force Colonel, augmented 
this staff. An Operations Center, with a Navy captain and a Ma- 
rine colonel working with the Bangladeshi, was quickly estab- 
lished to coordinate all efforts. No one believed that it was a joint 
operation because someone in Washington, D.C. said it had to be. 
They believed it had to be joint because that was the way to get the 
job done. The complementary capabilities of each service provided a 
synergism which ensured mission success. 

The last of the three factors of success was that agencies, such as 
the United Nations Disaster Relief organizations, and other 
countries were able to help start rebuilding the infrastructure. 

It was not an all-United States show. There was an "ad hoc" coa- 
lition of other nations who came to render assistance. This empha- 
isis on "coalition" is the only way for the future. The United States 

^Perspectives in Warfighting 43 

Marine Corps University 

can no longer be the world policeman: It is a partner, and that 
must be remembered. In many instances, U.S. technology and ide- 
ology will place it in a leadership role. There are indications which 
show that other nations will follow the lead. Our quick action and 
strong response to the disaster probably encouraged other nations 
to participate. India, Japan, the United Kindgom, France, People's 
Republic of China, and Pakistan all provided support in the way 
of helicopters and other significant assistance. 

There was a disinformation program with which to contend. 
Certain nations of the region charged that the U.S. was going to es- 
tablish a permanent base in Bangladesh. To counter this, weekly 
briefings were conducted for all foreign ambassadors in Bangla- 
desh. After the first briefing, these foreign ambassadors turned to 
the JTF Commander and — in an unheard of statement ~ said, 
"We wish to put our operations under your operational control." 
Thus, u Sea Angel" was a joint and a combined operation in the 
classic sense of those terms. But, it was even more than this. 

Perhaps the most important intangible to success was the rela- 
tionship established with the Bangladeshi Government. Ambassa- 
dor William Milam advised appropriate government officials that 
they would "run the show" and that U.S. forces would back them 
up. Their sovereignty and national pride were respected, and this 
was a vital element. This method also helped provide the catalytic 
agent to bring together U.S. and international non-governmental 
organizations with the government of Bangladesh. There had to be 
caution here, since there can be a natural enmity between some 
agencies who think they know what the country needs and Third 
World governments who think the agencies are undermining 
them. This operation did not experience this. 


There are many "pitfalls" which are inherent to any operation, 
be it during peace or war. Some are generic to all, while others are 
operation specific. The most basic of "pitfalls" is to assume that 
each one listed below will apply to every situation every time. 
Some "pitfalls" are: 

44 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

* International resolve and aid will always be there 
when needed -- not so! Other disasters, lack of funds, and 
political constraints will all have an impact on specific 

* Aid is on the way: Relax, we're okay — wrong! The 
magnitude of worthy causes is much increased and re- 
sources appear to be a diminishing commodity. 

* They're coming, cancel other requirements ~ no one 
country or group of two countries can do the entire job 
alone! Coalitions are the way to operate. 

* The military can do it alone — no, they can't! Coopera- 
tion and coordination with all governmental, non-gov- 
ernmental, and international agencies are absolutely es- 

* If the military can conduct combat operations, it easily 
can accomplish humanitarian operations - a sure path 
to failure! Some capabilities may be directly applicable 
while others are antithetical. Undoubtedly, the vast ma- 
jority of military capabilities do have some pertinence. 
Plans and training must address both. 

* A campaign plan is only an unaffordable luxury - inad- 
visable! A clear mission statement, composition of the 
force, and an "end state" desired are all important ele- 
ments to help focus the effort. 


How are these "pitfalls" avoided? There must be a plan. The 
plan may have to be developed very quickly, but rapid planning is 
a military forte. The plan should be rehearsed if time permits. 
Even if it is simply a matter of "talking through the plan," that is 
better than "shooting from the hip." This plan must be explained 
to everyone involved, and it must be explained clearly until each in- 
dividual knows what the mission is. Political esoteric rationale is 

Perspectives in Warfighting 45 

Marine Corps University 

not beyond the scope of understanding for the young men and 
women who serve in today's armed forces. 

External needs must be anticipated. This is the forte of ambassa- 
dors and the business of non-governmental organizations. They 
must be involved very early in humanitarian efforts. The Agency 
for International Development (AID) was a magnificent catalyst 
for helping accomplish this anticipation during "Sea Angel." In a 
related vein, aid-giving agencies must be alerted early and updated 
in order to help them anticipate future possible requests. A single 
all-agency, all-nationality headquarters should be established to 
control the relief effort. 

Military forces must be sensitive to the feelings of other govern- 
ment, non-governmental, and international organizations. Those 
groups must be recognized as important since they are peacekeep- 
ers in the truest sense. A mutual understanding of each other's 
capabilities is absolutely required. 

There is a lack of knowledge in many countries, as with non- 
governmental agencies, about what capabilities a U.S. JTF can 
provide to a relief effort and vice-versa. Since this is mutual, all 
must be better educated. In Bangladesh, when they saw that one 
LCAC could lift 60-tons in a single lift, when they saw what heli- 
copters could carry in a single lift, they recognized the capabilities 
the JTF had with it, and the next morining, on the runway to 
Chittagong, were a hundred tons of supplies for distribution. 

If local and/or international military or paramilitary organiza- 
tions are deployed, the need for liaison officers cannot be stressed 
enough - all forces have to be on the same "sheet of music." This is 
true regardless of whether the mission is power or assistance pro- 

Disaster preparedness contingency plans should be formulated 
if they do not already exist. These must include procedures for re- 
questing, receiving, and processing massive support from interna- 
tional sources. The nations receiving assistance are the ones who 

46 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

should request support, but they may require help in distribution 
and other matters in which the military can assist. 

Finally, there must be a constant effort to communicate, coordi- 
nate, cooperate, and - something the military does not do well — 
compromise. On someone else's turf, more is done by compromise 
than by showing up with an attitude of being the "biggest kid on 
the block." 


Some advice is contained in the previous section, but it is not all 
inclusive, nor is it omniscient. There are, however, a few broad areas 
which require immediate attention if military forces are to play a 
more effective role in humanitarian assistance/disaster relief oper- 

Encyclopedic cultural and societal information on various na- 
tions and regions of the world must be more readily available to all 
who participate in these operations. It was fascinating to watch two 
cultures interact. On one hand, there was amazement on the part 
of the Bangladeshi as they watched a burly Marine swing two 100- 
pound sacks of rice ~ one on each shoulder - and walk off with it 
to load it on a vehicle. By the same token, these Marines stood and 
watched in amazement as a graceful Bangladeshi woman, with a 
60-pound weight on the top of her head and with a straight spine, 
negotiated rocky paths. Two different cultures: Two different ways 
of lifting things! Information must be available, but, more impor- 
tantly, it must be used. 

A basic difficulty that the Bangladeshi faced was that they were 
unable to reach out to remote areas, or into areas which had been 
rendered remote by destroyed communications. They were unable 
to identify what the greatest needs were - shelter in one area, food 
in another, medical supplies in still another. This sort of informa- 
tion is required so that aid can be applied efficiently. There is no 
easy answer to this problem. Local officials will have to be relied 
upon for this information. The military can assist most efficacious- 
ly in transporting these experts to the areas in question. LCACs, 

Perspectives in Warfighting 47 

Marine Corps University 

helicopters, other vehicles give a capability to get out to the coun- 
tryside to determine the needs, and then to distribute essential spe- 
cialists, supplies, and equipment. 

Also in the area of information gathering and intelligence proc- 
essing, there is a desperate need to have a space dimension not 
only in time of war, but in time of peace. If multi-spectral imagery 
had been available for "Sea Angel," with a terminal aboard the 
ships, relief would have been applied more quickly and thousands 
more lives might have been saved. Reconnaissance had to be done 
by low-level helicopters, with disaster relief teams from the Army 
aboard, to identify what the shoreline looked like, what the infra- 
structure looked like, and where things had to go. Multi-spectral 
imagery ~ with a before and after look ~ would have solved the 

It has been mentioned before, but bears repeating here since it is 
critical to the success of humanitarian/disaster relief operations - 
it must be a team effort. During "Sea Angel," the JTF worked to- 
gether in a very compatible way with CARE, UNICEF, Save the 
Children, OXFAM, a whole crew of international organizations. 
Those organizations brought it together while the military did the 
heavy lift — each effectively using its strength in a complementary 
manner. The JTF had "carte blanche" from the National Com- 
mand Authorities to fly anybody assisting in the disaster relief in 
U.S. military helicopters. This is not standard procedure, but it 
should be. 

The relationship with the host government must be one which 
allows that government to establish the priorities and needs. There 
was no corruption in Bangladesh ~ the good reached those who 
needed them. A big advantage was a British system of civil ser- 
vants and a British system of military professionals ~ gallant and 
out-manned, but willing to work with us. The JTF provided coordi- 
nation cells next to the President's office and an Operations Cell at 
Chittagong. All the "players" were brought together in an effort to 
determine where the needs lay. That planning cell focused 72- 
hours to a week out into the future in order to accomplish what 

48 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

had to be done. Most importantly, Bangladeshi sovereignty was re- 

Stated simply, the intent of humanitarian assistance must be to 
save lives, not to reconstruct a nation. If the latter is attemped, it 
could be a "tar pit." That's not affordable! The international com- 
munity must be the one to attempt the long-range improvement 
through reconstruction. The U.S. military can assist with short- 
term help. 

In Bangladesh, their local infrastructure was repaired, light engi- 
neer work was done, and a system was set back into motion. This 
allowed self-sustainment and brought their own sense of dignity 
and esteem back into play. They had people that could continue 
the work after we assisted them through the immediate crisis. 

One of the greatest successes which can be used as a model was 
that medical elements were brought together in a way which was 
incredible. Public health in Bangladesh was advanced by two 
years as a result of this disaster relief, simply in the necessary pre- 
ventive medicine which was applied. They were left with a federal 
emergency management agency-style operation so that they could 
educate their own people on how to handle disasters. U.S.-led ef- 
forts helped them to help themselves ~ now and in the future. 


Those responsible for planning and allocating funds must rec- 
ognize that, with a smaller armed force, decision-makers will have 
to select those crises which the U.S. attempts a response. There ex- 
ists within the military today, capabilities which can be harnessed 
to accomplish great good in this changing world without hazard- 
ing its primary role of defending the nation, its citizens, and its 
ideals. Naval expeditionary forces, since they can operate from sea- 
bases, are ideal to respond to crises along the littoral regions of na- 
tions requiring assistance. They can remain at sea within easy re- 
sponse time and do not depend on an already strained infrastruc- 
ture ashore. They are truly a part of the solution and not the problem. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 49 

Marine Corps University 

Although the tone of this has been positive for the most part, this 
section must end on a cautionary note. While many individuals 
talk about potential Armageddon with weapons proliferation, or 
about conventional deterrence in Europe, or about a nuclear 
North Korea ~ the ticking "time bomb" is Africa, Southeast Asia, 
Southern Asia, and Latin America. It is sobering to consider that 
international health organizations estimate that, sometime be- 
tween the years 2000 and 2010, much of the African population will 
be infected by the HIV virus. That's a bomb every bit as big as any- 
thing nuclear. 

It is in those regions where our forward presence operations 
must be directed. Modest efforts with Mobile Training Teams, se- 
curity assistance, humanitarian assistance, and other efforts can 
attain benefits well beyond the costs. Forward presence operations 
are here, they are now. Decision-makers, planners, and operators 
must learn to perform these missions as well ~ if not better than - 
they plan and conduct combat operations. The emerging global 
strategic environment will demand this and no less if we are in- 
deed to make caring our credo rather than conflict. 

50 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter III 

The U.N. Contribution to Future 
International Security 

Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering 


erhaps the most important fact with which planners and 
policymakers have had to contend with over the last two years is 
that the end of the Cold War removed from the international political 
system, its central dominating principle - the East-West dispute. In 
a speech last April, President Bush outlined his vision of a new 
framework. He has described it in the following words: 

The New World order does not mean surrendering our sov- 
ereignty or forfeiting our interests. It really describes a re- 
sponsibility imposed by our successes. It refers to new ways 
of working with other nations to deter aggression and to 
achieve stability. To achieve prosperity and, above all, to 
achieve peace. It springs from hopes for a world based on a 
shared commitment to a set of principles that undergird 
our relations - peaceful settlement of disputes. Solidarity 
against aggression. Reduced and controlled arsenals, and 
just treatment of peoples. 

What are the security implications of a transition from the Cold 
War to the kind of new order the President has described? If one 
looks at U.S. post Cold War security interests through a U.N. win- 
dow, one way to describe the view is to talk about two adjacent cir- 
cles separated by a rather permeable border. In the first circle are 
core U.S. security interests: 

- Protection against direct attack; 
~ Protection of US citizens abroad; 

- Aid and support of allies; 

Perspectives in Warfighting 51 

Marine Corps University 

— Maintenance of unmolested international communica- 
tions and commerce; 

~ Assurance of access to vital resources; 

~ Insulation of essential interests from the effects of 

foreign wars - such as the tanker escorts late in the 

Iran-Iraq war; and so on. 

In the second circle are the general and broad goals, values and 
principles which are the essence of that civil international society 
whose vision President Bush invokes by speaking of a new world 
order or a "Pax Universalis." It embraces: 

~ The rule of law; 

— Non-aggression and the pacific settlement of dis- 

~ Respect for sovereignty; 

-- Defense of human rights and respect for humani- 
tarian principles; 

~ Control of arsenals; 

~ Curbs on proliferation; 

~ And, in general, a disciplined, cooperative approach to 
common security. 

It is necessary to explore the U.N. authorized use of force as nec- 
essary to protect such principles. 


The centrality of the U.N. Security Council to the shaping and 
legitimizing of the response to Iraqi aggression has raised expecta- 
tions, hence political pressure, for a comparable council role in 
other crises. Expectations that the U.N. will swiftly act on the Hai- 
tian coup, the civil wars in Yugoslavia, and in Liberia last year, il- 
lustrate the point. 

However, it is worth remembering that the charter never in- 
tended the Security Council to be its only or full-time court of first 
resort. Indeed, Article 52 explicitly mandates regional efforts to re- 
solve or redress threats to peace and security before resort to the 

52 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

U.N. And that is a good thing. In the first instance, these are often 
what might be termed "neighborhood" issues, and common re- 
gional interests may permit a wider scope of action. 

Nevertheless the future will surely bring crises that are not re- 
gionally containable despite the best efforts of regional actors. At 
that point, the Security Council can be turned to as a necessary 
and legitimate step. The Council can also expand on regional ef- 
forts when required, internationalizing a trade embargo for example. 

One of the things that drive this global/regional question is the 
character of conflict itself. Readers of the daily summaries prepared 
by the intelligence community know that most entries describe con- 
flicts within states not between them. In the post Desert Storm period 
that is an instructive fact, it reminds us that threats to regional sta- 
bility will not result primarily from the miscalculations of 
expansionist powers. As the Middle East and Yugoslavia daily 
demonstrate, regional stability after the Cold War - at it was before 
it - is largely shaped by essentially parochial concerns of an ethnic, 
religious, political, economic and social character. This may cause 
some nostalgia about the neatness and clarity of the Iraqi threat, 
which from both a political and a strategic perspective was more a 
caricature of the Cold War with a legal overlay and an ostentatious 
villain than a useful metaphor for the untidy challenges and con- 
flicts ahead. 

A daily dilemma facing the Security Council in this context is 
that while the rule of law and the role of order are more comfortably 
complementary after the Cold War, they are not equivalent. Our 
humanitarian and political interest in seeing an orderly resolution 
in Yugoslavia may not conflict with, but it certainly exceeds any 
responsibilities conferred by relevant international law. Similarly, 
international law has little positive to say about the responsibilities 
of other states in the event of coups and anarchy or bloodshed 
within a neighbor's borders. In fact the rule of law would permit - 
though it is unpleasant to ponder - a world convulsed by 
extraordinarily destructive but utterly legal internal conflict. (The 
OAS Santiago Declaration about the non-acceptability of govern- 

Perspectives in Warfighting 53 

Marine Corps University 

mental change by coup represents an important step forward now 
under test in Haiti.) 

This dilemma is not helped by the fact that the common law of 
states as well as the covenants and treaties agreed between them 
permit competing and conflicting claims. Nowhere is this more ev- 
ident than when the international community is forced to choose 
between the rights of states and the rights of peoples. 

Our continuing experience with Iraq illustrates the tension. 
When in November of 1990 the Security Council adopted 
Resolution 678 authorizing action to expel Iraq from Kuwait, its le- 
gal basis was the U.N. Charter prohibition, in Article 2, paragraph 
4, on the threat or use of force against another state. When perse- 
cuted Iraqi Kurds fled into Turkey and Iran five months later, the 
Security Council made a very different finding. It reasoned, in 
Resolution 688, that the massive flight of the Kurds presented a 
threat to peace and security sufficient to override the principle of 
non-intervention in the affairs of another state, a principle pro- 
tected by another provision (paragraph 7) of the same article. 

Yet it is important to bear in mind that this groundbreaking res- 
olution was very difficult to negotiate, notwithstanding the human- 
itarian issue and the threat to regional security. And more recently 
there has been very stiff resistance to forceful resolutions of Yugo- 
slavia and Haiti. This leads to two conclusions. First, there is work 
to do before the Security Council is ready to serve regularly as glo- 
bal crisis manager. That would require a clear and predictable 
consensus on how and to what extent it should address threats to 
international security arising from internal situations within states. 
No such consensus yet exists. Second, as a consequence, we must 
remain open - as the U.N. Charter provides - to alternative regional 
and even unilateral tools to serve the "order" as well as the "law 
and justice" agendas expressed by the President. 

In a sense, this approach to security leads us back to first princi- 
ples. Part of the "work" to be done is the same that our member- 
ship in the U.N. and other international institutions has always re- 
quired. It is the toilsome task of nurturing an international society 

54 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

of common values to inform and vitalize the orderly world the 
President calls for and which we all wish to live in. Civil order in 
the U.S. benefits from the absorptive power of shared values and a 
common culture which can dull differences, lessen rivalries and 
make most of us stake-holders in the status quo. 

The absence of a parallel culture internationally, however toler- 
able during the Cold War, is now a source of frustration. While the 
collapse of communism has eliminated the major global clash of 
values, it has had an opposite effect on other nationalist, tribal, re- 
ligious, economic and ethnic conflicts that have been there for 
some time and may even reenergize North-South economic dis- 

For this reason, we are unlikely to see the rapid elaboration of 
international law to provide assured external guarantees for mi- 
nority rights, democratically elected governments, or hungry peo- 
ple caught in a civil war. A significant number of U.N. members do 
not see such principles as leading to order but subversive of it, at 
least subversive of an order based on firm doctrines of state sover- 
eignty and non-intervention. Such views will sometimes prevent 
resort to the formal organs of the United Nations on occasions 
when their use would be desirable. But it is important to empha- 
size that neither the exercise of our rights under Article 51, nor 
careful engagement in support of our foreign policy principles re- 
quires us to act under an explicit grant of U.N. authority at all 
times. The former may well be preferable, but it is not difficult to 
imagine circumstances where either the fast-breaking nature of the 
threat or the inability of the Security Council to reach a decision 
argue for rapid unilateral or regional action. 

On the other hand, it is reasonable to expect future occasions 
when the U.N. authorized resort to force may be both feasible po- 
litically as well as desirable from a U.S. persepctive. Yet with the 
exception of the Korean War, the subject of U.N. authorized en- 
forcement actions and their legal and practical features is an un- 
written text. Nor is the job of writing that text aided by the fact that 
the threats we must deal with fit awkwardly into any imaginable 
U.N.-based structure. And neither will the U.N. - however strength- 
I ened - easily embrace the potentially wide security missions of the 

/ Perspectives in Warfighting 55 

Marine Corps University 

future. So we should look to the U.N. to deliver a part of the solu- 
tion at best. How large a part may depend upon its ability to devel- 
op two key elements of any new approach to security: legitimacy 
and flexibility. 

As a starting point, we need to understand what constitutes "le- 
gitimacy" for intervention by force. For ourselves and our allies, 
Resolution 678 authorizing "all necessary means" to secure Iraq's 
immediate and unconditional withdrawal was close to an ideal 
formulation. It gave a U.N. license for the use of force without re- 
striction as to its manner or extent, or explicit terms for its cessa- 
tion, important military and political considerations in the suc- 
cessful conduct of operations. 

Not surprisingly, these open-ended attributes gave discomfort to 
many other U.N. members. The Secretary General himself has 
commented that while the war against Iraq was "made legitimate 
by the Security Council" it "was not a U.N. victory" since that 
could have resulted only from "hostilities controlled and directed 
by the U.N." One need not share Perez de Cuellar's view to appre- 
ciate his point: The most iron-clad legal justification may not buy 
us that more evanescent political commodity called legitmacy. For 
example, the ambiguity of the phrase "all necessary means" meant 
that actions necessary for Desert Storm's success might in the view 
of the Council majority have exceeded the intent of 678. While that 
did not occur, it created an uncovered risk. Another consideration 
is that broadly licensing a few countries to use force in the Coun- 
cil's name enables detractors to argue that the action is the project 
of a few governments unrepresentative of the world community. 

For military actions comparable in scale to Desert Storm, there 
does not seem an obvious answer to this problem since a greater 
degree of U.N. direction and control could have imposed disabling 
constraints. On the other hand, we hope and believe that the scale 
of Iraq-Kuwait is unlikely to be repeated in the foreseeable future. 
Moreover, Council cohesion nurtured by the Iraq experience 
could carry over to other issues. If this proves true, there may be 
pressure for enhancing the Security Council's role in future peace 
enforcement and this should be considered. 

56 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

One way the Charter offers to do that is by negotiation of Article 
43 agreements between the Security Council and countries it se- 
lects. Paragraph 1 of Article 43 requests member states to: 

"Undertake to make available to the Security Council, 
on its call, and in accordance with a special agreement 
or agreements, armed forces, assistance and facilities, 
including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of 
maintaining peace and security." 

My own reading of Article 43 suggests several relevant points: 

First, the conclusion of such an agreement need not confer an 
automatic, mandatory obligation to provide troops to the Security 
Council, but could instead simply state their availability subject to 
certain terms or procedures. 

Second, Article 43 is silent on command arrangements: The 
phrase "on its call" does not necessarily mean "at its direction." 

Third, by specifying "assistance and facilities" the language per- 
mits members to satisfy their obligations by means other than pro- 
vision of combat troops - a useful flexibility. 

Fourth, paragraph 3 specifies that agreements shall be at the ini- 
tiative of the Security Council. A helpful limiting factor that en- 
i sures selectivtiy. 

Finally, paragraph 3 also states that agreements may be between 
the Council and individual members of groups of members. Offer- 
ing a potential basis for associations between the Security Council 
\ and regionally based alliances. Since alliances offer a more func- 
tional basis for concerted military action than a chance grouping 
of U.N. member states, this too could be a useful feature. 

A vital question about '43' is whether, and what kind, of com- 

i mand arrangements it implies. In my view c 43' agreements are not 

incompatible with signatories' exercise of wide military latitude 

when those agreements are invoked. In this sense, the agreement 

Perspectives in Warfighting 57 

Marine Corps University 

might be less a format for direct Council control than an expres- 
sion of its general capacity to enforce decisions and hence, a 
means of deterrence. In fact, agreements with powerful members 
or groups of members might have a psychological impact similar 
to a classic mutual assistance pact, strengthening respect for deci- 
sions under Articles 39 (power of recommendation), 40 (provision- 
al measures) and 41 (embargoes: diplomatic and other sanctions) 
and by extension, for statements of the Secretary General or the 
Council President. On the other hand, of course, the reality of the 
Permanent Member veto would remain a factor in this as in any 
other effort to extend the Council's scope. 

Delegated enforcement is explicitly anticipated in the U.N. 
Charter, most relevantly in Articles 48 and 53. Article 48 empowers 
the Council to determine which members shall conduct the action 
required to carry out its decisions "for the maintenance of interna- 
tional peace and security." Article 53 permits the Council to utilize 
"regional arrangements or agencies for enforcement action under 
its authority." 

Notwithstanding the legality of delegated enforcement, we 
should allow for the possibility that the Council will not absent it- 
self so completely from command and control as it did in 
Resolution 678. As you know, Chapter VII provides vehicles for 
Council involvement: 

Article 42 permits it to act by air, sea or land forces to 
give effect to its decisions when Article 41 measures are 
deemed inadequate: 

Article 46 calls for the Council to develop plans for the 
application of armed force with the assistance of a Mili- 
tary Staff Committee (MSC): 

Article 47 details the MSCs terms of reference, which 
include advice to the Council on arms control, readi- 
ness planning, general matters of command as well as 
strategic direction of forces. 

58 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Any move in this direction will raise concerns among troop con- 
tributors. The chapter s emphasis on the MSC is especially prob- 
lematic: no state whose troops are engaged in hostilities is likely to 
allow their direction by a group to which it does not belong or 
whose members have necessarily also contributed troops. There is 
also the need to ensure that committed troops are not subject to 
life-threatening surprises by changes in the political parameters 
governing their use, or by a breach in security or by other factors 
arising from activities which might be implied by the words "stra- 
tegic direction." Thirdly, unless the reference to strategic command 
(47.3) is interpreted in some static sense, the technology of modern 
warfare probably makes it obsolete: it requires flexible, decentra- 
lized decision making and instantaneous communication - neither 
is well suited to decision by U.N. committee. 

Yet there may be ways of partially employing Articles 42 and 47 
while inoculating them against their most intrusive potential and 
these may be worth exploring particularly in the context of small 
scale or low intensity conflict. For example, a more explicit articu- 
lation of war aims may sometimes be desirable. More specific 
goals do not mean more modest ones, but they do make the Security 
Council more accountable for actions to secure them. A war aims 
statement might also specify minimum terms for cessation of 
hostilities - as distinct from terms for an overall settlement. A gen- 
eral statement of permissible means would add legitimacy by fur- 
ther distinguishing peace enforcement from other uses of force, 
though such pronouncements would only be advisable to the ex- 
tent they did not expose troops to additional risk. We may also 
wish to explore arrangements whereby peace enforcers could re- 
port regularly and in person to the Council itself or a sub-group of 
the Council. While not altering command relationships, such a 
consultative link could be a helpful tool for preserving consensus. 


One of the questions our security community will need to con- 
sider is the issue of command and operational integration of the 
forces which might be employed to give effect to a Security Council 
decision. This requires a trade-off between the need to avoid over- 

' Perspectives in Warfighting 59 

Marine Corps University 

identification with a few countries, and the exigencies of the unity 
of command, rapid deployment, coordinated movements, and so 
on. Before going beyond the level of joint action employed in Des- 
ert Storm, in many substantive respects a NATO operation, are we 
persuaded that there are militarily and politically satisfactory an- 
swers to many unanalyzed questions about non-NATO coalition 
warfare? It was this sort of appreciation for the unexpected that 
prompted this comment from General George C. Marshall in 

With us, geographical location and the international 
situation make it literally impossible to find definite an- 
swers for such questions as: Who will be our enemy in 
the next war; in what theatre of operations will it be 
fought; and what will be our national objective at the 

But today's planners have a tougher task: not only do we not 
know the identity of our future adversaries, neither do we necessarily 
know who our friends - in the sense of coalition partners - will be. 
Yet joint arrangements for defeating a capable foe will require sub- 
stantial unity of command and control, and the standard 
peacekeeping command format - decentralized command across 
national sectors - may not suffice under the fluidity of combat con- 
ditions. A technologically advanced but weakly united U.N. force 
might even be at a disadvantage against a low-tech but well-di- 
rected opponent. 

Such considerations suggest that a significant level of inter- 
operability may be needed for U.N.-authorized military opera- 
tions. Between forces of vastly differing capabilities with no history 
of cooperation, this would seem to require achieving a sort of 
"U.N. standard" paralleling that of peacekeeping. It could involve 
such things as doctrine, rules of engagement, training and joint ex- 
ercises, command and control, IFF systems, intel-sharing, lan- 
guage, logistic support and so on. Achieving all of this would mean 
unheard-of levels of military openness and may be difficult for 
governments to accept outside an alliance context. A further de- 
tailed look at most of these issues would be a useful beginning step 
to help flesh out the contours of the new order we seek. 

60 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

In that regard, it is interesting to note that such a review was ini- 
tiated twice during the early years of the U.N. The first time, from 
1946 through 1948 the Permanent Members of the Security Coun- 
cil, meeting as the Military Staff Committee, held lengthy negotia- 
tions to produce a model Article 43 agreement, by which a member 
state would supply forces to the U.N. The second time was in con- 
nection with the Korean War. Reviews of both of these have been 
conducted by independent researchers. 

The discussions of the early Military Staff Committee covered 

the following issues: 

The overall strength of the U.N. force would be small. Its moral 
weight and potential would be its strength. It would be limited in 
size so as to take prompt action. The Security Council could 
change the overall strength of the force by entering into additional 
special agreements with member-states. 


The Permanent Five initially would contribute the major 
portion of the troops. The United States, France, Britain, and Chi- 
na (the Nationalist government) agreed that contributions would 
be comparable to each nation's capabilities. The Soviet Union in- 
sisted on equality of contributions. 


Contributions by members need not necessarily be represented 
by armed forces. Members could fulfill their obligations by fur- 
nishing "assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage" (Ar- 
ticle 43(1)). 


Armed forces would be deployed only on the decision of the Se- 
curity Council and only for the period necessary to fulfill tasks en- 
visaged by Article 42. Due to the military advantage of it, the U.N. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 61 

Marine Corps University 

force should be deployed in time to forestall or to suppress 
promptly a breach of the peace or act of aggression. 


The United States, France, Britain, and China agreed that the 
U.N. force would be withdrawn as quickly as possible and that a 
deadline would be established by the Security Council. The Soviet 
Union, however, believed that the U.N. force must be withdrawn 
within 30-90 days after the Article 42 measures have been fulfilled, 
unless the Security Council decides otherwise. The Soviets also ar- 
gued that the forces must be withdrawn from "rights of passage" 
territories within 30 days. 


The degree of readiness of the national contingents would be es- 
tablished in the respective special agreements. The contingents 
must be able to start action "in good time." They must be ready for 


With the exception of the Soviet Union, the permanent members 
agreed upon a wide distribution of forces throughout the world so 
that the Security Council could take prompt action in any part of 
the world. They also agreed that any displacement of these forces 
likely to modify their availability should be brought to the Security 
Council's notice. 


The Permanent Five agreed that the designated national contin- 
gents would remain under the control of the member governments 
until the Security Council activated them for U.N. service. But they 
were insistent that the "control" be exercised by the Security Coun- 
cil, not the Military Staff Committee. The latter would be responsi- 
ble for the "strategic direction" of the U.N. force. Yet the actual 
command of the national contingents would be exercised by com- 

62 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

manders appointed by the respective member governments. The 
units would retain their national character and would be subject at 
all times to the discipline and regulations in force in their national 
armed forces. 


China, the Soviet Union, and the United States agreed that there 
should be an overall commander(s) appointed by the Security 
Council on the advice of the Military Staff Committee to coordi- 
nate decision making. France and Britain argued instead for a su- 
preme commander who would have the power to direct action by 
all U.N. forces under his command. 

By March 1947, the negotiations broke down, with the USSR the 
sole dissenter on the critical question of whether the forces 
supplied should be equal (the Soviet preference) or comparable 
(the position of the other four). The Soviets believed equality 
would require a ceiling corresponding to the contribution of the 
weakest Permanent Member and thus precluding predominance 
by any single country. The Military Staff Committee reported to 
the Security Council on its failure to resolve this and other differ- 
ences, and never resumed the discussion. 

The onset of the Korean War in 1950 led to another set of efforts 
to develop the U.N.'s procedures for collective enforcement action. 
One of these was a consultative mechanism by which representa- 
tives of troop-contributing countries consulted once weekly at the 
political level. The Committee of 16, so named because there were 
16 troop contributors, enabled contributor governments to voice 
their opinions on the military situation and express views on future 
actions directly to the U.S. According to accounts of the period, 
Committee of 16 meetings often influenced U.S. policy choices. x 

Leland Goodrich in W. Frye, ed. A United Nations Peace Force, page 193. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 63 

Marine Corps University 

Other planning by a U.N. committee under the Uniting for 
Peace Resolution of the U.N. General Assembly contains clear 
parallels to some of today's issues: 

- To produce a deterrent effect, it suggested an affirma- 
tion of readiness by states willing to take collective action 
in support of Security Council decisions; 

- To permit rapid response to a breach of peace, it sug- 
gested appointment of a state or states to initiate military 
action and coordinate the efforts of other states until such 
time as the Military Staff Committee could act; 

- To achieve force compatibility, it proposed creation of 
a panel of military experts, serving in their personal capaci- 
ty, who would advise individual members on the organiza- 
tion, training and equipping of forces for U.N. use: 


These remarks have focused on the use-of-force aspects of the 
UN's security roles. Let me conclude by returning to more familiar 
ground: the UN and conflict avoidance. In the communique of the 
London Summit, the G7 leaders committed themselves to shoring 
up the basis for UN preventive diplomacy - a theme the President 
revisited when he addressed the General Assembly last month. To 
fulfill this goal the institution will need to shift to a higher gear. 
Useful steps could include: 

1. Informal information sharing, by ourselves and other 
member states, to keep the Secretary General fully in- 
formed of existing or potential situations which could lead 
to international friction (this is now occurring within the 
context of Resolution 687's Iraqi WMD inspection prog- 

2. Requiring disputants or potential disputants to keep 
the Secretary General and through him, the Security Coun- 
cil, fully informed of all pertinent facts; 

64 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

3. Supporting the enhanced use of special representatives 
in good offices and quiet diplomacy missions to help re- 
solve issues which may lead to conflict: 

4. And finally, inviting the Secretary General and the 
Council to give early consideration to the use of U.N. forces 
as a means of forestalling conflict before hostilities occur, 
such as by deployment to the borders of a threatened state. 
This may well involve elements of traditional peacekeeping 
and of peace enforcement as well. 

The United States has traditionally opposed participation of our 
military in actual peacekeeping operations, while, on a case-by- 
case basis, U.S. personnel have served in a civilian capacity and 
occasionally as military observers. However, the possible deploy- 
ment of peacekeepers as a preemptive measure or as a tripwire 
raises the issue of participation by Permanent Members in a differ- 
ent context. Unlike traditional peacekeeping where at least a stated 
commitment to a ceasefire is a given, a tripwire mission is necessi- 
tated by the active possibility of belligerence and is deployed to 
discourage it. Such a force would need the military capacity to slow 
an aggressor's advance and it would need an over-the-horizon ca- 
pacity sufficient to deter the advance from taking place. In 
simplified terms, this is the principle which effectively served U.S. 
and coalition military efforts during Operation Provide Comfort. 
While of course it deserves careful study, the tripwire idea is a classic 
tool which if applied by the U.N. may justify a new U.S. approach 
to participation in U.N. peacekeeping forces. 

It is time to put peacekeeping financing on a more stable long- 
term footing commensurate with its importance to global security - 
and our own. A step in the right direction within the U.S. would be 
to take a hard look now at creating a substantial peacekeeping ac- 
count possibly within, or in relationship to, the Department of 
Defense budget, in recognition of the clear security purposes of 
peacekeeping expenditure. 

I Perspectives in Warfighting 65 

Marine Corps University 


From time to time, as history turns remarkable corners, writers 
use the term "annus mirabilis," or "miraculous year" to express 
their amazement. These are indeed amazing times. They are not, 
however, from a security point of view, miraculous. There is no 
shortage of causes which human beings will kill or die for. Nor will 
we now retire all of the classic tools for pursuing and defending 
our interests. Nor will others. But I would submit that the U.N.'s 
capacity to serve common security concerns has never been greater 
nor more susceptible to constructive thinking or influence. 

66 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter IV 

Naval Power Projection 

and Expeditionary Forces - A 

Western European Perspective 


Mr. David Nicholls 

'No man is an island, entire to itself." 
(John Donne, Meditations) 

his paper, while giving special emphasis to potential Euro- 
pean contributions to future naval power projection, looks at the 
likely political and practical defense environments in which these 
might be made. 

In a recent article in the British Press, Field Marshal Lord Carver, 
a former British Chief of Defense Staff and distinguished writer, 

"Britain's realm cannot be defended from Britain itself, from its 
land, from the seas immediately surrounding it and the airspace 
above both." 

As Lord Carver goes on to say, this has evidently been true for 
centuries, though it has been reinforced by the range and nature of 
modern weapons. And while he was writing about Britain's future 
defence needs, the statement applies equally to other European na- 
tions. And why he should need to restate the obvious is because 
there do exist trends and tendencies towards renationalisation of 
defence and less than enthusiasm - indeed at worst indifference - 
towards the logical extension of Lord Carver's dictum, so that is 
applies not just to the UK, not just to Europe, but to the world com- 
munity at large. 

Nonetheless, the European approach to military power projec- 
tion in the future must inevitably be coloured by the inheritance of 

Perspectives in Warfighting 67 

Marine Corps University 

the past. It will reflect a mixture of three experiences: colonial, or 
of Empire, including withdrawal from it; of NATO and the trans- 
atlantic relationship; and of the United Nations. 

As to the first, the issue for many European countries is no 
longer one of front page significance, even though history has an 
uncomfortable way of resurfacing, as with recent events in the for- 
mer Belgian colonies. Most European nations have, at one stage or 
other, gone through an often emotional and painful period of with- 
drawal from Empire, in which both political and economic pres- 
sures have played a part: either specifically in relation to individ- 
ual colonies or dependencies, or generally in terms of a reduction 
or withdrawal of the level of regional military presence. Some 
countries, notably Germany, came to terms with the problem 
many years ago - indeed were obliged to do so - and have found 
other ways of exerting influence and of enhancing their economic 
well-being; some, especially Britain and France, may perceive that 
national economic prosperity does not depend any more on pro- 
jecting national military power, but retain obligations to depen- 
dencies which are not yet ready, or show no signs of being ready, to 
become independent or - and the notable case is Hong Kong - will 
be transferred to another's authority. 

It has to be added that these two countries may also find it con- 
venient that they are obliged to retain such overseas responsibilities in 
order to justify to themselves a capability for power projection 
which helps to maintain their status as players on the world stage, 
a status to which they instinctively cling. 

There are other and different influences at work, but some com- 
mon threads can be identified: 

- Western European countries in general do not view the 
projection of national military power as indispensable for 
the political and economic well-being of their realm; 

- Just as national security can only be achieved in-theatre 
through collective defence, so Western Europeans see secu- 
rity in its broadest sense depending on collective economic 

68 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

- There is no sign of a return to major national projec- 
tions of force; the irreversible trend towards shedding Em- 
pire and national power projection through military forces 
has been matched by reductions in the means to maintain 
military forces specifically for that purpose: in some cases 
the latter has been a natural consequence of the former, in 
other cases the need for budgetary reductions has acceler- 
ated the inevitable process of withdrawal; 

- In any event, defence reviews (usually euphemisms for 
defence cuts) have left little scope for maintaining forces 
even for contingencies outside the European theatre. 

In fact, as the years passed, concentration on in-theatre defence 
ceased to be a matter of financial expediency and developed into 
becoming a matter of policy; while the retreats from Empire often 
occasioned bloody battles fought overseas with national troops, 
each European member of NATO saw the vital need to prevent 
such battles being fought in Europe; and the principle that effec- 
tive deterrence has meant devoting a high level of national spend- 
ing to collective defence within an international framework be- 
came well recognized and accepted. 

This experience of partnership in collective defence - which, cen- 
tred on NATO, has embraced within it North America as well as 
Western Europe, and has seen the United States both as a leader of 
the Alliance as well as an equal partner within it - has lasted over 
40 years, and during that time the habits of working together have 
been developed in every field of politico-military endeavour from 
consultation in the North Atlantic Council on the political side, for 
example, to joint exercises, training, command and control and 
support in the military field. These habits have been positive, pro- 
ductive and taken together have, in the context in which they were 
developed, translated into a determination and steadfastness to 
stand together which has led to the ending of the Cold War; the 
overall experience now provides the basis for and points the way 
towards future endeavours of a collective nature, if they should be 

Perspectives in Warfighting 69 

Marine Corps University 

The NATO experience has, however, also witnessed less success- 
ful attempts at collective approaches: For example, successes in 
the field of collective procurement have been fewer than might 
have been hoped. On the political side, and very relevant to this 
paper, attempts to encourage European allies to work together un- 
der the NATO flag in confronting threats and challenges beyond 
the NATO area have met with scepticism and obstruction; and 
have on occasions soured transatlantic relations. Notable exam- 
ples were the American-led initiatives of the late 1970s and early 
1980s, responding to the perceived Soviet threat to the oil fields of 
the Gulf and highlighted by the invasion of Afghanistan. The 
American appeal to respond to this invasion with a show of soli- 
darity produced only a modest contribution from the United 
States' European partners; the so-called "post Afghanistan" meas- 
ures barely survived a year. 

The more insistent appeal for the creation of forces specially to 
deal with "out of area" emergencies (which was later coupled with 
the threat of withdrawal of American forces from Europe to deal 
with such emergencies if there was no Allied response) was also 
gradually allowed to be left aside; but the concept of allies working 
together under NATO auspices to deal with any emergency outside 
the NATO area - a concept which embraced drawing up measures 
to enable Allied forces so to operate, through pre-planned staging, 
transit and overflying rights - was pursued as policy issue and en- 
gendered a heated debate. 

The reasons for this are worth examining, as they are relevant to 
likely European attitudes in the future. Objections included the 
economic price that might have to be paid, coupled with feelings 
that resources could be better spent on economic aid, and a gener- 
al reluctance of ex-Imperial powers to become involved in the dis- 
putes of their former territories. An important objection was the 
risk of prejudicing relations with other friendly countries; thus, for 
example, the case of the Turks, who were unwilling to enter into 
open-ended staging arrangements for fear of damaging relations 
with their Islamic neighbours. 

70 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

But the predominant concern manifested itself in the fear of be- 
ing sucked in to super power disputes, with a risk of an escalation 
of any conflict; the fear of such scenarios transcended the fear of 
Soviet power projection - not least of all the evidence of Soviet na- 
val power projection, which was seen and recognized as an instru- 
ment of Soviet foreign policy - even though this, too, could have 
proved damaging to the interests of member states. 

Nonetheless, even though there could be no agreement that 
emergencies outside the NATO area should be formally discussed 
in NATO with coordinated responses being made under a NATO 
flag, Heads of State and Government were able to approve, l at the 
NATO Summit in Bonn in 1982, that those nations who saw a 
threat to their own interests and who wished to do so, could con- 
sult together within the NATO forum and, as appropriate, coordi- 
nate action. 

However, when, for the first time following this agreement, the 
Iran/Iraq war with its threats to freedom of navigation in the Gulf 
exploded into a major "out of area" crisis affecting more than one 
member of NATO, the Western European allies who were both 
members of NATO and the Western European Union (WEU) 
chose the latter body as the principal forum 2 for consultation and 
coordination of action, even though the forces they decided to de- 
ploy were (the French excepted) assigned to NATO. 

Moreover, the WEU nations cooperated in order to implement 
United Nations resolutions: It is noteworthy that individual Euro- 
pean nations' reservations about becoming involved in dispute be- 
yond the NATO area under NATO auspices have not extended to 
the operations of the United Nations. Thus, over the period of the 
Cold War, the United Nations have been engaged in peace-keeping 
or peace-inducing activities and individual European nations have 
played a part in these; the post-war period began with a mul- 

1 Though the French reserved their position. 

2 There were consultations with other NATO allies, notably the Americans, but not formal 
NATO discussions when the first decisions were taken on how to handle the crisis. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 71 

Marine Corps University 

ti-national force in the name of the U.N. repelling the North 
Korean invasion of South Korea; and the Cold War has ended si- 
multaneously with a Coalition operating on Security Council 
mandates to liberate Kuwait. 

At this point it is right to remember that much of the 
peacekeeping since the Second World War has not been carried 
out by the United Nations Organization or under their auspices, 
and that there may well still be circumstances in which power pro- 
jection in support of keeping the peace or for giving humanitarian 
aid will be more appropriately carried out by states operating out- 
side the ambit of that Organization; and that what happened in 
the conflict with Iraq may never repeat itself. But it is nonetheless 
possible to draw the conclusion that, in the future, any out of area 
operations involving Western European forces are most likely to 
attract consensus if they take place as collective endeavours under 
the auspices or authority of the United Nations. This conclusion is 
the more likely given that NATO and the United Nations are now 
linked in the Alliance's new Strategic Concept, agreed and issued 
at the NATO Summit in November 1991: This includes specific 
reference to the potential use of forces planned and assembled in 
the name of NATO being used for service under United Nation's 
auspices. The increasing relevance of the United Nations may also 
prove vital to the future role of Germany in operations outside the 
NATO area: Germany's current stance, built on the standard inter- 
pretation of her Basic Law, leaves her unable or unwilling to send 
troops overseas and diminishes her influence on world events; yet 
it is difficult to believe that, in the future, a nation of her standing 
will not have an important contribution to make in this direction. 
Finally, recent remarks of Professor Adam Roberts are also rele- 
vant: Talking earlier this year to the Royal Institute of Internation- 
al Affairs on the subject of A New Age in International Relations? 
(and note the question mark), he commented that in what he sadly 
concluded to be an otherwise insufficiently changed world, the 
U.N. has been remarkably successful in establishing itself as a uni- 
versal authority. 

While the United Nations - NATO linkage is a positive develop- 
ment in itself, it is a long way from saying that European nations 

72 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

will now switch their attention - and resources - from collective de- 
fence in NATO to global collective defence. Over and above their 
experience of the last 40 years or so which have already been men- 
tioned, there are a number of reasons for this. First, and notwith- 
standing the Iraq experience, the general concept of world policing 
or world peacekeeping is still too abstract, too diffuse, to attach 
specific requirements to; and secondly, this is the moment to be 
looking for economies in defense, not creating new tasks. A good 
illustration of this is given by the European approach on how to 
use components of NATO's rapid reaction troops. The emphasis is 
on using the same, and not separate, forces for in-theatre (NATO- 
led) and out of area (WEU-led) roles. This approach in effect 
legitimizes temporary withdrawals from NATO of the kind prac- 
tised by Britain during the Falklands Conflict and by all NATO 
nations during the conflict with Iraq. 

It is just as well that increased talk of the United Nations will not 
of itself lead to Western Europeans switching their attention in 
that direction. Not only is there still a role for collective defence as 
defined in NATO's new strategy, but this also remains the princi- 
pal basis for legitimizing national defence forces. Thus the NATO 
case operates in two directions: to help define - indeed, for many, 
essentially to define - national force levels of Western European 
members of the Alliance; and to provide the pool from within 
which to draw forces for duties beyond the NATO area if the need 
were to arise. It is likely that this situation will persist so long as 
NATO remains accepted as having a significant contribution to 
make to the defence of Europe. 

It follows that to look at what kind of European naval forces 
there may be around for naval force and expeditionary force pro- 
jection in the next 20 years or so: 

- one must look at what kind of European nations who al- 
ready have such a capability, with particular emphasis on 
deep water or blue water navies; 

- one must not expect or assume that other nations will 
move in their direction, since limitations on resources are 

' Perspectives in Warfighting 73 

Marine Corps University 

likely to converge with political reluctance to turn back the 
tide of history. 

We are thus speaking predominantly about Britain, the Nether- 
lands and Italy from amongst the members of the intergrated force 
structure of NATO, and France from outside this structure, even 
though her naval force levels are not directly related to NATO con- 
tingency or force plans. 

In the case of the first two, the formal and NATO basis for a naval 
force projection capability rests on the defence of the Northern 
Flank: and the uncertainties created by the break up of the Soviet 
Union are seen to enhance the case for retaining the European 
contribution to the defence of Norway - a perception shared by the 
Norwegians. Though the debate on the relative values of sea and 
air power in this theatre will no doubt continue, there has been no 
change in the belief that seapower still remains the best 3 military 
means of achieving NATO and national objectives in or off North 
Norway, and on that basis (speaking now of the United Kingdom) 
replacement amphibious naval shipping has survived the scrutiny 
of the United Kingdom's post Cold War studies ("Options for 
Change") and has been publicly declared to be in the long term de- 
fence programme; the British Secretary of State for Defence re- 
cently reconfirmed the Government's intention to seek tenders for 
new ships. In the parallel British manpower review the Royal Ma- 
rines have been retained; once it is recognized that special skills 
such as they possess have a place in the British Forces, the case for 
keeping them as a specialist force rather than train army personnel 
to take their place is difficult to rebut. 

While the French have no specialist shipping, their interest in 
naval power projection remains; and to complete the group, the 
Italians have been expressing an interest in developing similar 
capabilities, though probably primarily aimed at disaster relief. 

3 If not in some cases the only means - foggy conditions in North Norway can render the 
use of aircraft impossible. 

74 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

The formal NATO case for retaining specialist naval shipping 
and personnel is strong, but probably the planned retention de- 
pends as much on national perceptions of the advantages of re- 
taining this kind of naval capability in an uncertain world, in 
which, at least for the British, after the experience of the Falklands 
as well as of the invasion of Kuwait, the unforeseen must have its 
place. And in any event, there remain formal commitments to 
dependencies and the end of British rule in Hong Kong starts to 

The costs of replacing specialist shipping must leave the observ- 
er with doubts about when it can be afforded; and a sense of pro- 
portion is needed: At 7,000 strong, the Royal Marines are a small 
force and there are few places where they could fully measure up to 
a reasonable definition of a self-contained expeditionary force. 

Though there is a place for a self-contained expeditionary force, 
and while specialist ships, craft and personnel may be key ele- 
ments of such a force, there will be other important elements of 
European forces which can be brought to bear in a complementary 
way. The emphasis in NATO's strategy reviews has been on mobil- 
ity and flexibility, as characterized by the redesignation of existing 
NATO mobile forces and the creation of specific rapid reaction 
forces; ship lift, for example, as shown during the Gulf conflict, 
will be needed as well as air lift to move land forces based in Eu- 
rope to any theatre of operations beyond it. Mobility and flexibility, 
and collective action, are characteristics which will also be needed 
in peaceful as well as peacekeeping missions: disaster relief is an 
obvious example of this. 

In the short to medium term, and so long as the NATO require- 
ment is the essential determinant of national procurement and 
force management, the wider range of challenges in prospect is 
unlikely to replace the basic focus on meeting essential NATO 
force goals as economically as possible and in any case on a de- 
clining defence budget; in other words, what will be available will 
be based on NATO-led requirements, and there will be few funds 
left to finance anything else. However, the emphasis in NATO 
Strategy on flexibility and mobility is totally in harmony with the 

f Perspectives in Warfighting 75 

Marine Corps University 

application of these qualities to operations outside the NATO 
area; and the training and exercising which will be carried out to 
fulfill NATO missions will enhance the quality and preparedness 
of any NATO forces sent outside the NATO area. 

It remains to be seen whether the in-theatre training of the rapid 
reaction forces of NATO can include practice in the sort of 
emergencies they might face if required to project their capabilities 
as Europeans collectively or in cooperation with others, especially 
the United States. For some, this would be a novelty, or a reversion 
to colonial experiences; for others, it would complement the sort of 
exercises which have seen the United Kingdom, for example, prac- 
tising power projection with opposed landings thousands of miles 
from Europe, using naval forces. For some, it would raise the ques- 
tion of what kind of emergencies should be trained for, and would 
need the legitimacy of an operation planned with the United Na- 
tions in mind; for others, it would seem a natural continuation of 
the national tasks performed almost without break since the end of 
the Second World War. It is here that the colonial or imperial in- 
heritance, which for many Western European nations is still a de- 
terrent to large scale endeavours beyond Europe, may prove to be 
an asset; the local knowledge and experience gained over many 
years of operating across the world, the ties and links which have 
not been severed despite withdrawal back to Europe, could prove 
of immense value. 

Britain's experience, for example, of helping to police the world 
and of protecting her own interests in the former pink parts of the 
globe, together with her attachment to retaining influence on 
events beyond Europe and concern at the uncertain state of the 
world, explain why such exercising and training within the NATO 
context for operations beyond it would come naturally; this would 
only be an extension of a policy which has been practiced, though 
in an increasingly modest way, ever since the Second World War. 
This background also explains why the case for keeping open the 
option of retention and replacement of forces capable of power 
projection has a powerful attraction. Britain has the political will 
to retain naval expeditionary forces; and though they might have 

76 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

limited capabilities for autonomous action, they could make an ef- 
fective contribution to joint operations. 

It is nonetheless difficult to assess the likely collective reactions 
of these nations - and of other Western European nations who 
might form part of any expeditionary force - to future circum- 
stances calling for action: It is probable that the reduction of ten- 
sion between erstwhile Super Powers and the experience of the 
Iraq conflict will incline them favourably towards initiatives of the 
United Nations (over and above the less manpower - and equip- 
ment - demanding U.N. tasks which many nations have 
undertaken fairly regularly since the Second World War) and 
make them more inclined to join in coalitions in which the U.S. 
could well be in the lead; and humanitarian operations will always 
find willing participants, to the extent that their resources and ex- 
isting forces permit. 

At the same time, France and Britain will almost certainly con- 
tinue to keep all options open for as long as possible - partly to 
protect their own residual interests, partly for reasons of status 
(both are members of the Security Council), partly out of national 
pride and tradition. But there must be serious doubts about the 
realism of retaining national forces capable of dealing with all 
sorts of contingencies unless, as for the Dutch and the British in 
the NATO context, there is some sharing of roles. The value of this 
should not be underestimated; even small forces, acting together, 
could both make a worthwhile military contribution and send an 
important political signal. 

From a practical defence point of view, the evolution of the Eu- 
ropean Community, NATO and the WEU will be crucial: much 
now depends on the way the relationships develop between the 
three. The outcome of Maastricht leaves NATO inviolate but has 
nonetheless strengthened the position of the WEU as an instru- 
ment for the implementation of the Community's foreign and se- 
curity policy. Even before Maastricht, the WEU was charged with 
"out-of-area" contingency planning; it remains to be seen whether 
this can be done effectively - is there, in practice, any point in 
planning for emergencies which habitually are unforeseen and are 
largely unforeseeable? Despite this doubt, the WEU's enhanced 

Perspectives in Warfighting 77 

Marine Corps University 

status, together with the two precedents of the Iran/Iraq war and 
the invasion of Kuwait, when it was the WEU and not NATO 
which was used as the principal focus for European consultation 
and for coordination of the European military actions, only add to 
the near inevitability of the WEU's becoming the regular forum for 
European discussion on, and if needs be military reaction to - as 
Europeans or in coalition with others - events outside the NATO 
area which are perceived to be threatening to Western European 
interests. Equally important will be the continuing evolution of the 
European Community's foreign and security policy itself, to which 
Maastricht has clearly given added impetus: it remains to be seen 
whether, or how soon, member nations will feel bound to act in 
unison, or for how long they will feel able to take independent 
lines, or to establish bilateral arrangements in the defence field. 

Britain has been at pains to stress the importance of there being 
no wasteful duplication of forces between the WEU and NATO - a 
point of view which has not been lost on economy-conscious allies, 
even if it is not entirely consistent with Franco-German aspira- 
tions for a separately identifiable European Army. But the ques- 
tions still remain whether, or perhaps for how long, NATO can 
continue with its traditional coherent, collective, force planning 
and command systems at an adequate level of resources in the face 
of only a generalized threat to the security and stability of its mem- 
ber nations. But if NATO cannot, then probably neither can the 
WEU; and it is difficult to visualize the generation of the kind of 
political and budgetary momentum which would be needed to re- 
produce the structures and capabilities which have been built up 
in the NATO Alliance during the more than 40 years of its exist- 

A similar question arises in considering the merits of giving the 
United Nations a military role, though there is the important asso- 
ciated question whether this would in any case be a proper func- 
tion for that organization. The roles the United Nations may 
appropriately fill in a new world order have still to be defined: but, 
as has been commented earlier, there are arguments in favour of 
its primacy as monitor and moderator of world peace and stability, 
perhaps in step with the United States, probably willingly and ex- 

78 Perspectives in Warfighting 


Into the 21st Century 

pressly, giving up its role as unofficial "world policeman." It does, 
however, seem less likely that the United Nations will develop its 
own military enforcement capability, though it may well have a 
part in establishing guidelines for what it would be useful for the 
world community collectively to possess; certain criteria for disas- 
ter relief forces might, for example, be established. In any case, it 
can be expected to need to enlist the help of agencies which can 
ensure effective military action; and countries which do not have 
the potential of the United States for unilateral military operations 
will continue to need to be able to have a means of coordinating 
their actions, just as the United States will continue to need the po- 
litical support and acceptability conferred by joint operations. For 
the foreseeable future only NATO - and, for European consulta- 
tion and coordination, the WEU - meet these political and military 

Where could this take us? The Western Europeans, like the 
Americans, are now looking at a new world of cooperation be- 
tween East and West, joining with other countries to meet the chal- 
lenges of the globe as a whole, and, as implied by Lord Carver, pro- 
tecting their own security in the process. That globe still needs as- 
sisting and on occasions policing, and military power, including 
the special flexibility and mobility conferred by sea power, still has 
a part to play in this. The likely future position of Western Europe- 
an countries in regard to power projection is nonetheless built on 
uncertain foundations, much depending on the way the European 
Community, NATO, the WEU and the United Nations develop, 
and how the security dimensions of new relationships with the 
East - such as the recently agreed Community Associate status for 
Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia - evolve. 

Fortunately the two principal European maritime powers, 
France and Britain, are made of robust stuff when it comes to po- 
litical will: much depends on them, as members of the Security 
Council, with deep water navies, and with experience of policing 
the world, if the flags of Western European nations, or a European 
Union flag, are to fly outside the European theatre on 
peacekeeping or humanitarian operations. It is perhaps as well 

Perspectives in Warfighting 79 

Marine Corps University 

that neither country is willing lightly to discard the ability to con- 
tribute to the projection of power by sea. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Section II 

The 21st Century and Naval 

Expeditionary Forces: Developing 

Issues and Constraining Factors 

In this final section attention is turned from the immediate im- 
plications of recent conflicts to longer horizon developments that 
will affect naval expeditionary forces well into the coming century. 
Dr. James Brooke examines the issues of survivability and vulner- 
ability of forces in a naval expeditionary setting, which he views as 
functions of the time necessary to move people and equipment 
from ship to shore. While modern transport vehicles reduce expo- 
sure time, the threat of advanced weapons systems falling into the 
hands of Third World opponents heightens the level of risk to men 
and material. In particular, enhanced air power capabilities allow 
so-called rogue nations to challenge the forcible entry capabilities 
of U.S. naval expeditionary forces. 

With air power as the major risk to NEF operations, air suprem- 
acy constitutes the primary means of undercutting this threat. To 
achieve air supremacy, an adversary's air power must be thwarted 
through denial of air bases from which to launch attacks, as dem- 
onstrated during Desert Storm. Conducting an airbase attack cam- 
paign is not easy to execute in this era of weapon and technology 
proliferation, but the trend toward "smart" attributes in current 
weapons systems is increasing lethality, precision, weapon reach, 
and versatility. These enchanced capabilities provide for more pre- 
cise and effective targeting and thus help eliminate a major challenge 
to amphibious operations in a hostile environment. 

MajGen Robert Tiebout provides an overview of the Systems 
Acquisition environment in which the Marine Corps operates. He 

Perspectives in Warfighting 81 

Marine Corps University 

asserts that any successful acquisition program must harness three 
independent yet interdependent processes: 1) the Requirements 
Generation System (validated requirement); 2) the Planning, Pro- 
gramming and Budgeting System (adequate funding); and 3) the 
Acquisition Management System (adherence to prescribed man- 
agement practices). 

When an acquisition program is formally initiated, there are a 
wide variety of methods or acquisition strategies that can be em- 
ployed to satisfy an operational requirement as defined by the 
Commandant and the Marine Corps Combat Development Com- 
mand (MCCDC). The ultimate goal in these efforts is to achieve 
the greatest "bang for the buck." To this end, the Marines exploit 
Navy-managed programs, other service programs, joint service 
programs, and Marine Corps unilateral program. 

Aside from developing its own systems, a number of alternative 
strategies are available to the Marine Corps in the acquisition proc- 
ess, including the Service Life Extension Program, the Product Im- 
provement Program, the Non-Developmental Item Program, and 
the Evolutionary Acquisition Program. During Desert Shield and 
Desert Storm, the Marine Corps employed a number of innovative 
procedures for obtaining critically needed equipment, including 
additional procurement of night vision goggles, accelerated field- 
ing of the M1A1 Main Battle Tank, equipment loans from the 
Army of M9 Armored Combat Earthmovers, and quick reaction 
procurement of such items as desert boots. 

In the future, Marine acquisition priorities will focus on such 
equipment as night vision goggles and countermine devices that 
proved their worth during the Gulf War. In addition, the value of 
tactical intelligence systems and the Army's Multiple Launch 
Rocket System earmark them as high priority acquisition items for 
the coming years. With the ongoing and proposed military budget 
cuts, a strong relationship must be maintained between the equip- 
ment users in the Fleet Marine Force and the material developers 
to achieve the most efficient return on dwindling procurement 

82 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter I 

Emerging Technologies 


Expeditionary Force Operations 


Dr. James R. Brooke 

he issue which this paper attempts to address is one of 
survivability . . . survivability for expeditionary naval forces con- 
ducting amphibious operations. The world security environment 
may be changing but at least one fact of expeditionary warfare is 
not: It still takes time to move people and equipment from ship to 
shore. Time is vulnerability and vulnerability for troops and equip- 
ment during an amphibious landing is obviously an element of 
combat that any on-scene commander would try to minimize. 

This paper, therefore, takes a top-level look at a few emerging 
technologies that will assist in minimizing the inherent vulnerabil- 
ity of expeditionary amphibious operations and help ensure a 
more uninterrupted flow of movement to an inland objective. 


The basic problem (referring to Figure 1) is that one can calcu- 
late the time required to move two Marine Expeditionary Brigades 
(with two helicopter lift cycles) from the bottom of the page ("de- 
parture point") to the ("objective") to be about 70-90 minutes. Even 
that figure is a conservative estimate and does not take into ac- 
count adverse weather or enemy resistance on shore. The chal- 
lenge thus becomes how to help ensure an uninterrupted flow of 
men and equipment, close to shore, in a hostile environment. 

Indeed, technology is emerging today which is cutting the time 
of movement for landing operations. Vehicles are in design that 

Perspectives in Warfighting 83 

Marine Corps University 

>. 4* 

O U 


-O fi 

o '* 

** « 

5« pa 

fl> fj 





£ **■ 


— ® 




3 .2 



— "3 



*> -w 


-= "S 




° S 

£ £ 

H « 



Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

speed the flow to lessen troop and equipment exposure time. But it 
is still an extremely vulnerable operation, made even more risky by 
the threat of combat technology proliferation throughout the 
world, especially to areas where U.S. expeditionary forces might 
find themselves involved in the future. 

Figure 2 is a listing compiled from several open sources of just 
some of the technological capability that is proliferating through- 
out the Third World. Each one of these combat systems makes po- 
tential warfare in those regions that much more lethal. Each one 
presents challenging consequences to any expeditionary 7 force ac- 
tivity, but especially to amphibious landing operations. 

With the demise of the Soviet Union and a resultant arms ba- 
zaar filled with even more combat technology, one could make the 
judgment that so-called regional rogue nations could acquire this 
equipment at a much faster rate than has heretofore been reported. 
This emerging, chaotic arms market is listed as one cause of more 
likely smaller regional conflicts while at the same time creating a 
greater risk to U.S. troops deployed to quell any crisis. A recent 
Jane's Defense Weekly (11 Jan 92, pg. 53) lists no less than 74 global 
hot spots ... a ready-made demand side economy for acquisi- 
tion of advanced weaponry. 

Referring again to Figure 2, noteworthy is the increase in sophis- 
ticated air power capability within the Third World. A nation's air 
power — and combat aircraft in particular — represent international 
prestige and provide domestic political status. Stealth technology, 
extended range, supersonic speeds and enhanced payload capacity 
are all elements of air power that would allow some so-called 
rogue nations to ultimately put forces at risk. Air power in the 
Third World is a significant cause for concern to U.S. contingency 
planners for more than any other warfighting capability, this 
would present a formidable obstacle to the successful completion 
of any U.S. expeditionary force operation. 

Figure 3 illustrates the extent of Third World investment in com- 
bat aircraft. Probably the most telling statistic of all is that 23 na- 
tions with a gross domestic product per individual of less than 

Perspectives in Warfighting 85 

Marine Corps University 





D5 , -m 











HH 1 




























GO o 

I — s CU 

— ' OX) 



















•r G 

^ J2 



03 2 

g « 

CU i-* 











03 (« 
co cu 
U J3 







N 3 

03 _03 

0Q '03 
. , > 

s & 

03 — i 
G "S 
£ « 
<u cu 












■09 .„£ 
■° g o 

« (S « 
CU « 1-5 


5 .«'C « 

.5 SB S o 

- <<* 







^ W ., 

CO"- Gj «« 

CO . ,. . . <U 

i— i 03 03 X 
~.S K G 

w c£.2'S 
rj 03 g ^ -a 

T3 < < CO O 


Jb 5 

G <» 

i co 
O <u 
O • -3 


Jo 03 
!U O, 

G 03 

'C ° 

03 00 


•S c 

> 03 

G C « 

- £ s 










C3 .G 

"^ 00, 
co c 

cu .G 
"C G- 




« § 1 

<U G ^G 

^G o 

O G c3 

w g,s 

TD 03 • - 

C H-> 03 

03 co •*< 

-^c£ G 

•O flW 


5^ * 




.5 o ~ 

^ E OX 

t -^ a 

•3 £ °- c 

C8 CU _ CO 

u *- -b a, 
•-C w b -a 

cu 68 


"O 3 <w * 
O B T3 4* 


G 00 
« C 
O "C 

O- CU 

«r g 

J 1 

3 S 





s s 

G G 


C £ 


















co T3 

*>» CU 
CO £ 



B ■" 

a» -- 

^ .2 

i- o 
•2 cu 
* O, 






Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the list Century 











































































e« ■ 






























so cm °° Os oo en 



















O" C 




60 "0 





















5 Q- 
22 u 

o o © o c o 

© o o o o 

O — M (N 't 

© o © © 
oo to SO r~ 
cn m co m 

S g © o o 
© © S5 cn r— 

S 8 

c/2 <U 
ISO « 

•2 .3 S 

S>2 ^2 N <U C >-i 
„ <U C3 C M S '3 

^ ^ a 

.2 I 

aj g 

5! ? S 

1 1 2 

2 CO 7. 

s §■» 

c o — 

1 5 8 

3 .s I 

g 2 £> 

o 5 " 

i5 S iS 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

$500 per year possess over 2,515 combat aircraft and 127 major air 
bases. These are nations whose domestic needs would seem to far 
outweigh requirements for air power. And the bad news is that 
their major air bases (referring to Figure 4) happen to be located in 
just those regions where naval expeditionary forces have fought 
before and where many of the 74 potential hot spots identified by 
Jane's (as mentioned earlier in this paper) exist today. 


If air power is the risk to expeditionary operations, then air su- 
premacy must be the answer. As was demonstrated in Desert 
Storm by coalition air forces, air supremacy (or enemy sortie re- 
duction) was the primary means of achieving early dominance. Air 
supermacy was the paramount element of the campaign that cre- 
ated a suitable environment to carry out the President's objective ... 
and air base denial was the key. 

Destruction of an adversary's air power through air base attack 
would reduce sortie generation and help ensure a more unin- 
terrupted flow on men and equipment from ship to shore. This ele- 
ment of air supremacy would provide that freedom of action requi- 
site for successful amphibious operations. 

Conducting an air base attack campaign to establish air suprem- 
acy is not easy to execute in this era of weapon and technology pro- 
liferation. Aircraft on the ground are becoming harder and harder 
to kill. They are now located in extremely hardened shelters or, as 
in the case of North Korea, buried deep inside mountains. Ammo 
bunkers, aviation fuel stations, C^ modes are all becoming more 
difficult to target due to their concealment or hardened character- 

Trends in current weapon system technology towards "smart" 
attributes are responding to these emerging targeting require- 
ments. Lethality (or accuracy), placing ordnance on the right spot, 
not just any spot, can provide significant operational payoffs in 
terms of weapons, sorties and lives (both military and civilian) 
saved. Target discrimination— -the capability to discern between de- 

88 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 




























• • 





















Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

coys and actual targets — pays significant dividends in terms of 
ordnance, sorties and time saved. Weapon reach provides impor- 
tant flexibility . . . being able to launch from a safe stand off dis- 
tance outside of an enemy's threat envelope. Mission planning must 
become more user friendly and responsive. As is, it takes too long 
to plan a strike mission, be it one with air-launched systems or 
those from naval cruise missile-configured ships at sea. Multi-mis- 
sion capability is becoming a necessity in the new combat environ- 
ment. Nonlethal missions such as reconnaissance, surveillance, 
bomb damage assessment and locating and identifying critical 
mobile targets are now as important as the more traditional lethal 
missions. These five emerging technologies employed properly can 
enhance the probability of success for future naval expeditionary 
force operations. 

Subsequent sections of this paper will be devoted to discussing 
each of these five technologies and highlighting their "value add- 
ed" in denying an enemy's air power to place expeditionary forces 
at risk. 


Lethality means accuracy. The goal seems simple ... to deliv- 
er an explosive warhead on a critical spot within the target area. 
We all watched CNN in fascination as highly accurate precision 
munitions being guided by pilots using video displays hit a spot in 
the crosshairs of their target indicator. Dropping large numbers of 
"dumb" bombs with the potential for massive collateral damage is 
giving way to smaller payloads, smaller warheads, more precise 
guidance systems, and minimal collateral damage. The critical fac- 
tor is CEP— circular error probable— the radius within which 50% 
of one's ordnance can be expected to land. Obviously, the lower 
the CEP factor, the more precision is involved, and as Figure 5 il- 
lustrates this greater precision saves weapons, sorties and puts 
fewer lives (on both sides) at risk. 

One important lesson from Desert Storm was that we must have 
weapons in our inventory with the precision to penetrate and col- 
lapse hardened aircraft shelters and bunkers. We must also have 

90 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


© 5 





Perspectives in Warftghting 


Marine Corps University 

the weapon precision to attack — without unnecessary collateral 
damage — air base targets such as C^ facilities or command struc- 
tures which are increasingly being discovered in populated areas. 
If air supremacy is the goal and air base attack is the strategy for 
achieving this goal, then precision weapons allowing high accura- 
cy ordnance on critical hardened aircraft shelters and sortie gener- 
ating facilities are paramount. For example, just by improving 
CEP from 60' to low single digits through smart guidance technol- 
ogy one can cut by one-half the number of weapons required to de- 
stroy a set of 51 generic air base targets. The technology trend in 
smart guidance systems is towards very low CEP (single digits) 
translating into smaller warheads, longer reach (due to additional 
weapon system fuel capacity available) and fewer sorties. 


Weapon system reach is becoming increasingly critical in this 
era of a reduced force structure. Weapons that can "stretch" the 
combat utility of a declining number of assets can yield extremely 
useful operational payoffs. Cruise missiles that have ranges up to 
and over 1000 nm allow an expeditionary force battle group to 
stand-off launch and hit key air bases located deep inside an ad- 
versary's territory. Additionally it would allow these forces to re- 
spond to two or more crisis within the same theater simultaneous- 
ly ... a key attribute when a force structure of fewer ships are re- 
quired to maintain the peace within a wider geographical area. 

Promising technology such as integrated high-performance tur- 
bines offers increasing thrust per unit air flow while at the same 
time lowers specific fuel consumption and cost. It is not too far- 
fetched to think of a 3000 nm autonomous, low-CEP, unmanned 
strike system in our weapons inventory by the year 2005. Implica- 
tions of this technology for the successful conduct of expeditionary 
force operations are clear . . . with the flexibility of increased 
range, refuge for adversary aircraft and other critical assets that 
could potentially impede the flow of an amphibious landing 
would now be targetable by the strike warfare component. 

92 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 


The capability to plan a strike mission quickly or in response to 
an emergent requirement is also going through significant techno- 
logical advancements at present. Elements of mission planning in- 
clude time-of-arrival control, search planning, situation assess- 
ment, mission management and fault diagnostic/mitigation, all of 
which currently are decentralized elements of process. The goal for 
technology is to compress the time and data required for accurate 
mission planning so as to allow the actual planning computations 
to be done either on-board the platform firing the weapon or, in 
the case of advance technology, on-board the weapon itself. Time 
compression, movement of more mission planning effort toward 
the weapon, and platform control of the strike execution process 
are three significant improvements to mission planning that will 
be employed early in the 21st century. 

True "launch and leave" capability, obtaining target and intelli- 
gence updates while en route, communicating reconnaissance or 
strike data back to the launching platform, conducting "smart" 
search tactics as well as dynamic inflight replanning are all facets 
of the mission planning problem that are being addressed by in- 
dustry today. These technological advances would increase the 
probability of kill (P^) during an air base attack strike by allowing 
immediate weapon system response to the changing tactical situa- 


The battlefield today is a very confusing environment. Decoys, 
concealment, weather, obscurants, flares and chaff, high energy 
lasers, and target mobility are just some of the elements existing on 
battlefields today that degrade weapon performance. Certainly the 
Scud problem in Desert Storm brought this dilemma to light 
. . . first finding a potential target, then deciding that it is an ac- 
tual missile site (not a decoy) and finally putting ordnance on it be- 
fore it moves somewhere else or becomes concealed. Aircraft and 
runway damage decoys were also utilized by the Iraqis in their ef- 
fort to cause the coalition force to wast ordnance or bypass actual 

i Perspectives in Warfighting 93 

Marine Corps University 

targets . . . this complicated somewhat the air base attack cam- 
paign in their efforts to gain air supremacy. If expeditionary forces 
conducting a landing operation are to minimize casualties from a 
possible enemy air attack, the campaign to deny sortie generation 
from major air bases must include weapon systems that incorpo- 
rate sophisticated sensors and radars that can discriminate be- 
tween decoys and targets and penetrate adverse weather. 

Different sensors provide significant capability against different 
elements of the confusing battlefield environment described 
above. No one sensor can do it all. For example, as illustrated in 
Figure 6, Laser Radar (or LADAR) has good capability to identify 
targets (high resolution display) and pick through decoys and 
jamming but extremely poor capability in penetrating adverse 
weather. On the other hand, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) has ex- 
cellent capability in adverse weather but only fair results in an en- 
vironment of countermeasures and target identification. The key 
for technology is to maximize sensor comparative advantage and 
combine them so as to be able to offer combat capability against 
the entire spectrum— target identification, countermeasures and 
weather — of distracting battlefield elements. 

Technological advances in data fusion allow engineers today to 
begin combining different sets of sensors and mount them in the 
front ends of weapon systems. The operational payoffs of this engi- 
neering enhancement are significant: if only priority targets are 
struck while decoys are bypassed and mobile targets are now more 
vulnerable, these advantages will translate into increased target 
kills per weapons, allowing the warfare commander to conserve 
ordnance and sorties. 


The lack of timely battlefield intelligence was another lesson 
learned from Desert Storm. The capability to accurately and expe- 
ditiously update the very dynamic situation within the warfare 
area, to conduct bomb damage assessment and then to transmit 
this information to oncoming strike leaders or cruise missile 
launch platforms was deficient. A consequence of this deficiency 

94 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Perspectives in Warfighting 


Marine Corps University 

was that ordnance was possibly assigned to targets already de- 
stroyed or non-existent, sorties were expended where not needed 
and lives may have been placed unnecessarily at risk. 

These types of missions — reconnaissance, intelligence and 
bomb damage assessment — are now commonly referred to as non- 
lethal missions. They include intelligence gathering and process- 
ing as well as locating and identifying critical mobile targets. New, 
non-lethal system architectures, employment concepts and payloads 
are being examined by industry today to respond to this require- 
ment. Autonomous weapon systems, designed to be launched at 
long range to loiter, search at low altitude and data link back bat- 
tlefield intelligence and target information without placing any 
lives at risk, will become a necessary military asset. This multi-mis- 
sion capability emerging from cruise missile and precision weapon 
technology advancements will most assuredly assist in conducting 
an air base denial campaign more efficiently and cost effectively. 
Being able to adjust strategy during real-time operations will save 
weapons, sorties, time and, ultimately, lives. 


The assumption in this paper has been that expeditionary force 
operations — those operations involving the movement of men and 
equipment from ships at sea to objectives inland — are becoming 
more vulnerable during this era of weapons proliferation to Third 
World nations. The key proliferation problem identified has been 
the ability to accumulate unprecedented numbers of sophisticated 
combat aircraft, aircraft that could very easily put U.S. expedition- 
ary forces at risk. 

The challenge for the defense industry thus becomes how to de- 
velop technology that would respond to the requirement of ensur- 
ing expeditionary force survival. The question is: Given that air 
combat aircraft pose a threat to amphibious operations, what are 
the trends in ongoing weapon system lethal and non-lethal tech- 
nology that could assist in an air supremacy, or air base denial 
campaign to ensure uninterrupted flow of expeditionary force 
movement? Five technologies have been discussed — current ad- 

96 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

vancements in accuracy, weapon reach, target discrimination, mis- 
sion planning and multi-mission capability will all lend assistance 
in ensuring a viable and successful amphibious landing evolution. 
These technologies are not in the distant future, but are being engi- 
neered now in response to an uncertain threat environment that 
will require naval expeditionary force presence around the world. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 97 

Into the 21st Century 

Chapter II 

Acquisition Priorities 


R&D Strategies 

MajGen Robert Tiebout, USMC 


the world of System Acquisition, many factors contribute to 
the formulation of program priorities and the acquisition 
strategies used. This article provides an overview of the Systems 
Acquisition environment in which the Marine Corps operates, and 
outlines some of the acquisition strategies used to obtain equip- 
ment end items for the Fleet Marine Forces. Selected insight is also 
provided to the unique circumstances associated with equipment 
acquired during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and 
the Marine Corps input to the 1994 Presidential Budget. 


The Systems Acquisition Environment can appear confusing 
and hostile, especially to those who are not intimately familiar 
with the details of the process. Virtually all aspects of public life 
have some effect on how we go about providing equipment and 
material to our fighting forces. 

The effects that some of these forces have are readily visible. 
Special interest groups, such as environmentalists and anti-nucle- 
ar organizations, maintain constant vigils at selected ammunition 
depots and weapons stations to voice their opposition to military 
practices. Veterans groups and many industrial societies, on the 
other hand, provide strong support to the systems acquisition com- 
munity. The media, the courts, the Congress, international diplo- 
matic policies, and public opinion all make significant contribu- 
tions to the environment that surrounds systems acquisition. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 99 

Marine Corps University 

Any successful acquisition program must harness three inde- 
pendent yet interdependent processes: (1) the Requirements Gen- 
eration System; (2) the Planning, Programming and Budgeting 
System; and (3) the Acquisition Management System. Stated more 
directly, all acquisition programs must: 

(1) Have an approved/validated requirement 

(2) Have adequate funding throughout the program life 

(3) Follow prescribed management practices. 

The Marine Corps implements these processes in a manner that 
is similar to those methods used by other services. The most visible 
differences in the process arise from accommodating two military 
services within the Department of the Navy (i.e., the Navy and the 
Marine Corps). 

Requirements Generation System. The generation of the Marine 
Corps' requirements is accomplished through the Concept Based 
Requirements System, managed by the Marine Corps Combat De- 
velopment Command (MCCDC). The Warfighting Center within 
MCCDC serves as the field Marine's proponent in the develop- 
ment of tactics, doctrine, and techniques, as well as in the develop- 
ment of requirements for manning, training, and equipment. 

The implementation of the Concept Based Requirements Sys- 
tem begins with the Marine Corps Campaign Plan. This document 
is prepared every four years as a new Commandant assumes office. 
The Campaign Plan captures the vision of the Commandant and 
provides strategic direction for the next four years. Within the con- 
text of the Marine Corps Campaign Plan, MCCDC conducts anal- 
yses of the warfare areas in which the Marine Corps has responsi- 
bility. These Mission Area Analyses provide the analytical base- 
line for the Marine Corps Long Range Plan; a document that 
encompasses the social, economic, political, and military posture 
for 20 years into the future. 

From the direction provided in the Marine Corps Campaign 
Plan and the Marine Corps Long Range Plan, the Warfighting 
Center initiates efforts to prioritize the deficiencies identified. 

100 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

Deficiencies within each mission area are consolidated and docu- 
mented in the Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF) Master 
Plan. Top ranked categories from the MAGTF Master Plan re- 
ceive the greatest attention in the preparation of Mission Needs 
Statements. In this sense, the MAGTF Master Plan serves as the 
bridge for the Marine Corps between the Requirements Genera- 
tion System and the Acquisition Management System. 

The MAGTF Master Plan priorities are also used in establish- 
ing priorities in the budget development process. In this aspect, the 
MAGTF Master Plan also forms the bridge from the Require- 
ments Generation System to the Planning, Programming, and 
Budgeting System. 

Planning, Programming, and Budgeting System (PPBS). While 
the PPBS addresses all aspects of how the Department of Defense 
expects to achieve its strategic objectives, the principal focus cen- 
ters around the development of the President's Budget. The PPBS 
within the Marine Corps is managed from Headquarters, Marine 
Corps by the Deputy Chief of Staff for Requirements and 
Programs. While the process addresses the allocation of the total 
funds authorized to the Marine Corps; the systems acquisition 
community is most directly affected by the resources allocated to 
the following appropriations: Research and Development, Procure- 
ment, and Operations and Maintenance. Unless the proper type of 
funding is allocated to a program in the fiscal year in which it is re- 
quired, an acquisition program may become "unexecutable." As a 
result, the program baseline agreement (which establishes cost, 
schedule, and performance parameters) would need to be adjusted 
to reflect the funding provided. In this manner, the Programs Ob- 
jectives Memorandum (POM) in the budget developmental pro- 
cess provides the bridge between the PPBS and the Acquisition 
Management System. 

Acquisition Management System. When a requirement has been 
identified that entails acquiring new equipment and funding has 
been allocated to acquire this capability, the program comes under 
the Acquisition Management System. The principal thrust of the 
Acquisition Management System is to ensure that the most cost ef- 

Perspectives in Watfighting 101 

Marine Corps University 

fective solution to the stated requirement is obtained in a timely 
manner. The process is divided into several phases, with major re- 
views or decision milestones that must be achieved before a pro- 
gram can leave one phase and enter the subsequent phase. 

Each system is complex in its own right, but managing the inter- 
actions between the system is essential for program success. The 
decision to continue a program into the next acquisition phase is 
strongly dependent on how well the program has progressed in sat- 
isfying the operational requirements, its technical maturity, and 
the affordability of the solutions being pursued. The flexibility 
within each of the systems diminishes as the program matures and 
enters the production phase. 


When an acquisition program is formally initiated, there are a 
wide variety of methods or acquisition strategies that can be em- 
ployed to satisfy the operational requirement. The Marine Corps 
strives to obtain the most "bang for the buck" in all acquisition ef- 
forts. The National Security Act of 1947 permits the Marine Corps 
to enter material acquisition in areas that are unique to our as- 
signed mission. To that end, we rely heavily on the systems acqui- 
sition efforts of our sister Services to satisfy our material require- 
ments. Before we enter into a unilateral Marine Corps develop- 
ment program, we first attempt to identify acquisition strategies in 
which the cost of systems acquisition (and follow-on support) can 
be shared with another military Service. Some examples are pro- 
vided below. 

Navy-Managed Programs. In the areas of aircraft, communications 
security, and fixed, shore-based communications facilities, the 
Chief of Naval Operations has the responsibility of satisfying the 
operational requirements of the Marine Corps. Once a material 
need has been identified in one of these areas, the requirement 
document is passed to the Navy for development/acquisition. All 
activities of the PPBS and Acquisition Management System are 
conducted by the Navy in support of the Marine Corps. While 
there is never a large quantity of Navy managed programs ongoing 

102 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

at any one time, the financial contributions by the Navy to satisfy 
such needs is highly significant. The AV-8B Harrier aircraft is an 
example of a Navy-managed program for Marine Corps only use. 

Other Service Programs. Another acquisition strategy often pur- 
sued by the Marine Corps is to procure equipment items that have 
been developed by other Services. In the implementation of this 
strategy, the Marine Corps does not actively participate in the de- 
velopment phases of the program. The efforts of other Services are 
monitored to ensure Marine Corps requirements are being 
satisfied. At the conclusion of development and subsequent test- 
ing, the Marine Corps decides whether or not to join in the 
procurement of the item. 

While this acquisition strategy significantly reduces the develop- 
ment risks and the requirement for R&D funding, it deprives the 
Marine Corps of the opportunity to participate in design decisions. 
Examples of programs that have been pursued as Other Service 
Programs include the M1A1 Main Battle Tank and the Single 
Channel Ground/Air Radio System. 

Joint Service Programs. When some Marine Corps requirements 
for a piece of equipment significantly differ from those of other 
Services, it becomes more advantageous to pursue development as 
a Joint Service Program. Normally, a Memorandum of Agreement 
will be executed that defines the responsibilities of each participat- 
ing Service. The lead Service provides the Program Manager and 
the majority of funding necessary to satisfy all common require- 
ments. Other participating Services usually provide a Deputy 
Program Manager as well as funding to satisfy any requirements 
that are Service-unique. Use of this acquisition strategy drastically 
reduces development costs to the Marine Corps. Significant 
savings also result from economies of scale experienced in a larger 
production base. 

Marine Corps Unilateral Program. For acquisition efforts in 
which no other Service has similar requirements, the Marine 
Corps assumes management and financial responsibility for all 
aspects of the program. Needless to say, a unilateral program is the 

Perspectives in Warfighting 103 

Marine Corps University 

least preferred of the acquisition strategies discussed to this point. 
Significant financial and management resources must be ex- 
pended in the implementation of unilateral programs. An addi- 
tional impediment to pursuit of Marine Corps unilateral programs 
is the continuous justification of the program requirement that 
inevitably takes place. It is often difficult to communicate to mem- 
bers of the congressional staff the subtle difference in mission, tac- 
tics, doctrine, techniques, or environments that make equipment 
used by other services unacceptable to the Marine Corps. 

Having accepted the burden of managing a unilateral program, 
there remain a number of methods that can be used to increase the 
effectiveness of our systems acquisition investment. Alternate ac- 
quisition strategies are selected during the Concept exploration/ 
Definition Phase as a result of a Cost and Operational Effective- 
ness Analysis. The following alternative strategies are routinely ad- 

- Service Life Extension Program 

- Product Improvement Program 

- Non-Developmental Item Program 

- Evolutionary Acquisition Program 

- New Development Program 

Service Life Extension Program. Often a currently fielded piece 
of equipment can continue to satisfy an operational requirement, 
but it may become uneconomical to maintain, or operationally in- 
effective, without modification. In such instances, a Service Life 
Extension Program can provide for the modification or upgrade of 
selective components to keep the equipment serviceable. A Service 
Life Extension Program, by its nature, does not significantly en- 
hance the capability of the weapon system, but focuses on main- 
taining the existing capability for a longer period of time. An ex- 
ample of a Service Life Extension Program is the replacement of 
engines or suspensions of an entire fleet of vehicles to permit ex- 
tended use of the vehicles beyond their initially intended Service 

Product Improvement Program. It is sometimes more efficient to 
respond to a changing operational requirement by enhancing the 

104 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

capability of equipment already fielded. In response to a changing 
threat, for example, the Marine Assault Amphibian Vehicle was 
modified to include an upgraded weapon system, an enhanced fire 
suppression system, and upgraded applique armor. The incorpora- 
tion of these improvements was significantly more cost effective 
than developing and building an entirely new assault vehicle. 

Non-Developmental Item. When commercial industry has devel- 
oped equipment that can satisfy an operational requirement, the 
item is obtained as a Non-Developmental Item through "off-the- 
shelf acquisition. When a program manager believes that com- 
mercial solutions exist, a formal market survey is conducted, fol- 
lowed by solicitation, selection, and purchase. When a commercial 
item is identified that can satisfy most, but not all, of the operation- 
al requirements, a maturation phase is conducted to permit the de- 
velopment of the additional characteristics required. The use of 
Non-Developmental Items in recent years has paid tremendous 
dividends to the Services. It permits rapid fielding of equipment, 
the incorporation of the latest technology, and makes maximum 
utilization of the existing production base. The Non-Developmental 
Item approach was employed in the acquisition of the Riverine As- 
sault Craft, which was fielded in less than one year from the identi- 
fication of the requirement. 

Evolutionary Acquisition. Many areas of technology are changing 
so rapidly that items are technologically obsolete before they can 
be completely produced and fielded. The communication and elec- 
tronics industries provide prime examples. Evolutionary Acqui- 
sition recognizes this rapidly changing environment and provides 
flexibility in the approach to systems acquisition. Evolutionary Ac- 
quisition is most easily thought of as a continuous cycle of "build- 
a-little, test-a-little, field- a-little." While the overall system require- 
ment remains in focus, no attempt is made to obtain the entire ca- 
pability in one large step. Evolutionary Acquisition is a series of 
integrated events directed at providing a specified capability. The 
Marine Tactical Command and Control System is being pursued 
as an Evolutionary Acquisition. 

Perspectives in Warfighting 105 

Marine Corps University 

New Development Program. There are occasions when the most 
efficient method of satisfying an operational requirement is the in- 
itiation of a new acquisition program. This approach implies the 
systematic evolution of alternative concepts, the integration of new 
technology, the development and evaluation of competing system 
design alternatives, and entry into production of a completely new 
piece of equipment. The road to successful fielding of a "new start" 
is filled with potential pitfalls and represents the most challenging 
of acquisition strategies. The Marine Corps is currently pursuing 
this strategy in the Advanced Amphibious Assault (AAA) 

Foreign Military Sales. Even after a piece of equipment enters 
production, the industrial base can be expanded by the use of For- 
eign Military Sales. In some instances, the quantity of items pro- 
duced for off-shore customers far exceeds the quantity produced 
for the United States Military Services. Recent sales of the Light 
Armored Vehicle to international customers is a prime example of 
a Foreign Military Sales program. 


Nothing tests the viability of the Acquisition Management Sys- 
tem like the urgency imposed during times of conflict. We recently 
experienced such conditions in support of our Marine forces en- 
gaged in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Strong com- 
munication was maintained between the Marines in the combat 
environment, their proponent at the Marine Corps Combat Devel- 
opment Command (MCCDC), and the Marine Corps Research, 
Development, and Acquisition Command (MCRDAC). Procurement 
and acquisition decisions were greatly accelerated to respond to 
the time constraints of a combat situation. As always, requirements 
were initiated by Marines in the field and communicated to their 
proponent at the MCCDC Warfighting Center. At MCCDC, the 
requirements were quickly evaluated and, if deemed valid, for- 
warded to MCRDAC for implementation. If requirements could 
not be satisifed by equipment currently on hand, a Statement of 
Urgency was prepared authorizing the use of contracting methods 

106 Perspectives in Warfighting u 

Into the 21st Century 

reserved for extraordinary situations. The needed equipment was 
acquired and shipped directly to Marines in Southwest Asia. 


Depending on the nature of the material requirement, several 
methods were used to procure equipment to support Operation 
Desert Storm. The principal methods are listed below and dis- 
cussed in subsequent paragraphs. 

- Additional Procurement of Fielded Equipment 

- Accelerated Fielding 

- Equipment Loans 

- Quick Reaction Procurement 

Additional Procurement of Fielded Equipment. In some cases, 
equipment items already fielded were required in greater quantity 
than had been supplied to the operational forces. Night vision gog- 
gles were in high demand because of the increased emphasis on 
night time operations during Desert Shield/Storm. To satisfy the 
urgent requirement, 350 additional goggles were obtained through 
an existing Army contract and provided to combat units. A similar 
situation existed in obtaining position/location equipment. Due to 
the desert environment and lack of natural geographic landmarks 
for accurate location information, the Global Positioning System 
was also in high demand. Seven hundred standard commercial 
Global Positioning System Receivers were obtained by amending 
an existing contract, and provided to Southwest Asia. 

Accelerated Fielding. Urgent requirements were also satisfied 
through early fielding of equipment that was already being ac- 
quired, but had yet to be provided to the field. The M1A1 Main 
Battle Tank is an excellent example of such early fielding. 

Operational use of the M1A1 in the Marine Corps was not 
scheduled until six months after Desert Storm began. In order to 
provide the new tank to Desert Storm, 108 tanks were obtained 
through a loan agreement with the Army. Crew and maintenance 

Perspectives in Warfighting 107 

Marine Corps University 

training, as well as all required logistic support, were greatly accel- 
erated to accomplish the early fielding. 

The success of the efforts by the acquisition community is best 
reflected by the performance of one Marine Reserve Unit in com- 
bat. Using the newly acquired Mis, one tank company destroyed 
34 of 35 enemy tanks encountered in a 15-minute period, without 
sustaining a single hit on their own vehicles. 

The air defense community also fielded an early warning device 
to cue STINGER missile gunners, The Lightweight Early Warning 
Detector Device fielding was accelerated by nine months through 
early acceptance of pre-production models. 

Equipment Loans. Equipment loans among the Services were 
also commonplace. The Marine Corps was loaned 30 M9 Armored 
Combat Earthmovers from the Army. We also borrowed 
one Senior Warrior System from the Air Force. The Senior Warri- 
or is a tactical intelligence system that provides signal intelligence 
and direction finding from a non-dedicated KC-130 aircraft. Ma- 
rines using the Senior Warrior obtained the signal intelligence in- 
formation "first heard" during Iraq's invasion of Kafji. 

Equipment loans were not a one-way street. The Marine Corps 
provided the Army 150 Shoulder-Launch Multipurpose Assault 
Weapons, associated ammunition, and a qualified instructor. The 
unique feature of the weapon allows the munitions to penetrate 
earthen targets prior to detonation, causing significantly greater 
destruction than if the rounds exploded on the outer surface. 

Quick Reaction Procurement. In some instances, new equipment 
items were obtained to satisfy the unique combat environment en- 
countered in Southwest Asia. In each case, procurement action 
was initiated in response to an approved Statement of Urgency in 
full coordination with the Marine Corps Combat Development 
Command. Examples of systems obtained in this manner include: 

- Anti-magnetic Mine Activating Device 

- Light Strike Vehicle 

108 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

- Special Applications Scoped Rifle 

- Desert Boots 

Follow-on Actions. It should be recognized that the combat envi- 
ronment surrounding Operation Desert Storm and the acquisition 
support provided, contained many unique circumstances. Consid- 
erable effort has been expended to make maximum practical use 
of the lessons learned from this campaign, within the context of 
the Marine Corps' world-wide mission. 

At the conclusion of hostilities, MCRDAC reviewed each Desert 
Storm initiative to ensure that adequate logistic support was being 
provided for items that would remain in the field. Action was also 
taken to recover some special use items and to prepare them for 
storage and potential future use. The Marine Corps Combat De- 
velopment Command assembled Battlefield Assessment Teams 
that explored all aspects of the combat operations for incorpora- 
tion into the Marine Corps Lessons Learned System. When con- 
solidated into the computer-based Lessons Learned System, the 
data and information are readily available to warfighters, material 
developers, and logisticians in planning future development of tac- 
tics, doctrine, techniques, and equipment. 


As discussed earlier, acquisition priorities are affected by a wide 
variety of internal and external forces. Clearly, there are some 
trends that came out of Southwest Asia that warrant further atten- 
tion. The importance of night vision equipment, for example, was 
highlighted during Desert Storm since many of the combat 
activities occurred at night. Maintaining and developing the ability 
to counter/neutralize mines was also readily apparent as U.S. 
Forces encountered the most extensive mine fields in the history of 
military combat. Additionally, the value of tactical intelligence sys- 
tems and the importance of their contribution was clearly empha- 
sized during Desert Storm. Using techniques now available, the 
Marine in the field can be given the most recent photo intelligence 
data— electronically. And certainly, the awesome effect that the 

Perspectives in Warfighting 109 

Marine Corps University 

Army's Multiple Launch Rocket System imparted on the enemy's 
equipment and morale was fully demonstrated. 

Material acquisition priorities are not established by the materi- 
al developer. They are, appropriately, determined by the equip- 
ment users in the Fleet Marine Force. This process is currently on- 
going in support of developing the 1994 Presidential Budget sub- 
mission. In response to the users' requirements, MCRDAC sub- 
mitted program initiatives during September 1991. At the time of 
this writing, Fleet Marine Force representatives are prioritizing 
these initiatives by their relative merit or benefit to the operational 
community. By January 1992, the initiatives will be prioritized in 
terms of cost-effectiveness to the Marine Corps. 

Although these future acquisition priorities have yet to emerge, 
the environment in which the programming is proceeding is not 
favorable. With recent changes in the world political environment, 
there is a general perception that the potential threat to national 
security has diminished. This diminished threat perception has 
caused political leaders to question continuing the level of invest- 
ment in all aspects of military spending. To a certain extent, the 
overwhelming military success of Operation Desert Storm has also 
caused others to advocate protraction of our technology and acqui- 
sition efforts. 

Funding reductions are a reality in all appropriations that di- 
rectly affect combat capability. Although the FY 92 Defense ap- 
propriation bill has yet to become law, current projections indicate 
there will be significant reductions in both Research and Develop- 
ment, and Procurement appropriations. Unofficial projections for 
FY 93 indicate that reductions in that year may approach another 

Total military end strength will decline sharply in the years 
ahead. The total acquisition work force will decrease by approxi- 
mately 18% between the beginning of FY 90 and the end of FY 94. 

This projected acquisition environment makes it even more im- 
portant for us to continually focus our acquisition efforts. Through 

110 Perspectives in Warfighting 

Into the 21st Century 

rigorous application of Cost and Operational Effectiveness Anal- 
yses, we can emphasize military programs that provide the most ef- 
fective use of limited funding. We can only afford to proceed with 
programs that are affordable within the context of the total Marine 
Corps investment budget. 


The Marine Corps will continue into the 21st century as the na- 
tion's premier force in readiness. Through proper prioritization 
and selection of the most appropriate acquisition strategy, we can 
continue to provide our operational forces with the best combat 
equipment to accomplish the mission. 

j Perspectives in Warfighting 111 


U 102 .P47 no. 2 v. 1-2 
Conference on Naval 

Expeditionary Forces and 
Naval expeditionary forces 

and power projection 




JSMJL w * 



Tin rr 

JFR I l 



*C , 


2040 Broadway Street 

Quantico, VA 221 34-51 07 

APR 29 3302